For What It's Worth

Monday, November 20, 2017

monday musings…

2017 is winding down and I’m going to be a little scarce around here for the rest of the year – about one post a week. Maybe…whenever I decide to do one thing I tend to do the opposite – so you could end up with a new post everyday lol

Kevin is on vacation so reading time might be scarce and I just passed 202 books read this year and once I hit that mark, I felt like ok…I’m done for the year. I’m sure I’ll fit in a few more books before the year ends but I have zero books for review until January and it feels nice so as far as reviewing and blogging go – I’m taking it easy until then. I think blogging slows down a lot for everyone this time of year so It’s a good time to take a break and refresh. I do have a few books that I’ll probably get to next month.


Certain Dark Things has been on my TBR for a long time and I even gave to the author’s GoFundMe campaign so you think I would have read it by now…but no. I’ve been reading The Book of Joy for several months - but on purpose. I read a few chapters here and there when I’m in the mood for the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu to talk me down from the edge and remind me to take the time to find joy in life. lol My New Crush Gave to Me just sounds cute and festive.


imagesI’m still giving audio books a try and it’s not going so well. I just can’t multitask while listening and I still get distracted for anything going over 20 minutes. So yay! through this process I discovered podcasts and those have been fun but not so much much with the audiobook reading.

I’m still dabbling in graphic novels and that’s going better. I’m still learning my way around reading the panels and getting used to POW! OOf! type dialogue but they’re such fast reads that it’s ok. The key for me is strong character story lines. I find that I’m not as into action only sequences when it comes to this format.

I’m trying Saga – a space opera/fantasy comic next.


Gift Present Celebrate Party Wrapped Simple Concept

December 15th will mark my 8th year blogging! Woo-hoo! I can’t even believe I made it this long.

So many of my good friends have quit over the years and I’ve been right on the edge several times but I seem to have found a renewed spark and don’t see myself quitting any time soon.

Blogging has changed dramatically since I started though and I think I might talk about that a little next month.


Book Bonanza

I’m joining the Black Friday Book Bonanza Hop, hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer starting this Friday so check back then. My giveaway will be international.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week if you celebrate!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Stranger things season 2

Other bloggers do a much better job summarizing television than I – but I have thinky thoughts after watching season 2 of Stranger Things and it’s my blog so your stuck with them! lol

While I’m not going to get too specific but it's still pretty spoilery so highlight if you want to know more.


Overall thoughts:

Most stories that have kids saving the world stretch credibility. I was telling my husband that I never once doubt that this group of pre-teens are the best possible people to solve this whole thing. They think things through (mostly), get help when necessary, and have each others back no matter how implausible it gets. Add in a few older siblings, bat waving boyfriends with great hair and adults that actually believe the kids and I TOTALLY buy into it.

I love the innocence of this series. Almost all television right now is defined by darkness – the worst of humanity (rape, torture, murder etc) unreliable narrators and twists that pull out the rug from viewers. While that’s fine, and does make for some great television, it’s nice to be able to take a story at face value and have it still be riveting. Have good people who strive to do the right thing - even if they flounder a bit. It makes the characters easy to invest in and care about the outcome. Something I don’t even bother with anymore with most of what I watch. I suspect everyone to be a secret asshole or to be dead by the end of the season.

This season in particular, has you biting your nails as far as who to trust, and then does the unexpected with those characters. It’s not that there aren’t twists or deaths on ST – it’s just that they come by it more honestly. It’s very straight forward storytelling in a way and I love how I can just relax and enjoy it for what it is.

Spoiler thoughts: ->Bob I doubted you until the bitter end. Can a guy be that nice?? Yes, yes he can. And there’s no way Paul Reiser isn’t a double crossing slime ball. I’m not falling for that again after Aliens! But again…great twist on that.  End Spoiler

The relationship between the boys is just as good, if not better, this season. They screw up – I’m looking at you Dustin – but they are loyal and sweet when it matters most. This is as much a coming of age story as a sci-fi and that aspect is done very well.

Joyce gets the mother of the century award for being FIERCE. She always believes Will and does whatever it takes to save him. Whatever. It. Takes.

One caveat to that – Jonathan. That poor boy can disappear for weeks on end without his mom noticing lol Just because he’s older doesn’t mean he can’t (and often does) get into any trouble.

Now my more wishy washy thoughts that aren’t so cut and dry:

Eleven. I LOVE her. LOVE. And I hate how she is mostly just a vessel to save everyone else. I do think it’s somewhat addressed and countered with characters like Mike and Hopper – who do like her for her – but it hurts me to watch sometimes. I just want to take her out of the show and wrap her in a big hug and not let anyone touch her ever again. But then everyone would die so…good thing I’m not in charge lol

Episode 7 – The controversial ep that you either love or hate Spoiler thoughts: -> I thought it was necessary for Eleven’s character to get away to see for herself what options are open to her. As much as I want her to be a cute 12 year old girl learning about feelings and Eggo's – she’s not. She’s innocent in the ways of humanity but her powers and her past haunt her and everyone is always trying to manage her in some way, even if it’s in her best interest. She needed to choose who her family is and learn exactly how far her powers reach, what way she intends to use them and who to trust – on her own.

Having said that – the episode, as whole, felt cartoonish thanks to the over the top, straight from an 80’s music video, costumes and a *bad ass* NOT group who will kill in retribution in front of child one minute and then steal gum for fun in the next. They're silly and stupid. Kali (Eleven’s “sister”) power is to make people see what she wants them to see and she’s wasting it on hanging with these losers? Can’t she just pretend to be a doctor or whatever and go kill everyone? I liked the contrast between Kali and Eleven. They’ve been through the same things, have the same goals but look at how to achieve those goals in different ways. Kali had lots of potential - I wish they had done it a different way that wasn’t so cheesy. End spoiler

Hopper and Eleven – Another thing that really hurt to watch but I loved it. Spoiler thoughts: ->Hopper is so afraid to lose Eleven (after losing his daughter) that he wraps her too tightly in isolation and rules to protect her. But then he’s also so afraid to open his heart again and have it crushed if he does lose her that he leaves Eleven lost and alone often screaming at her over and over. The fights are raw and brutal and frustrating. I wish they showed a bit more from Hopper’s past so he didn’t come off as such an ass but I got it and loved how it was resolved. End spoiler

Steve/Nancy/Jonathan – ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz Steve is being redeemed nicely but I couldn’t care less about their love triangle and Nancy/Jonathan’s awkward will they won’t they. They seriously stopped the whole plot momentum to watch these two get awkwardly drunk. I do like how they’re all pretty mature about the changing dynamics though because ya know….BIGGER THINGS ARE HAPPENING AND THEY MIGHT ALL DIE!

Max and Billy – I like Max. She’s spunky and no nonsense but felt more like a placeholder for Eleven. Billy. Uh…Billy. They better have some mad writing skills on that show because it will take a lot to redeem him beyond the Spoiler thoughts: ->he was abused and might be in the closet. They were written into the show very haphazardly and it often took away from the main story. I assume they have a bigger place in S3 that explains it all but it was a big dud here. End spoiler

There are so many things I could get into – like more of Luca’s little sister Erica please! – but then this will be tooooo long of a post. Feel free to jump in and talk about something I may not have mentioned or if you agree/disagree with my thoughts.

Where do you thing S3 will go?

A few possible theories….Spoiler thoughts: -> I’m not convinced that Eleven is on solid ground yet. She has some major jealousy issues. She’s great when she’s fighting for those she loves but still has impulse issues when angry and no one to really reign that in. Especially when it comes to Mike (and Max). Is there still a chance that she becomes a villain? Will Kali return – or other siblings from the lab?

Max and Billy still give me weird vibes. Is it really as straight forward as abusive parents and moving to a new town? I kept thinking there’s more to Max and a possible Upside Down connection. And I get a major vibe that Billy is gay and likes Steve. Is that somewhere they will go? They will have to redeem Billy more and maybe Steve is a good person to help with that since he acted very similar in S1 – maybe as a friend – maybe more. Or is Billy a government/lab operative posing as a teen? That would be very 80’s cliche! Too far fetched?

Are we headed to the Upside Down again? I mean that ending certainly shows it’s a possibility. Dr Brenner is apparently still alive so we could be revisiting that whole thing. But how many times can you keep revisiting the same threats? Hopefully if they do it will be with a new twist. Poor Will needs a nap and to get the hell out of town IMO. I don’t think I would EVER feel safe again after what he’s been through! Will Joyce and Hopper get lung cancer from chain smoking?? End Spoiler

There are going to be at least 4 seasons – possibly 5 and I heard that Erica will indeed have a bigger role! so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

You can also check out my friend Jen’s review and take her Stranger Things quiz here!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

tell me something tuesday

Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

I’ve tried to branch out a bit with my reading this year. TBH – I like what I like - and when I veer from that it doesn’t usually end well but I did find a few reads that were out of my comfort zone that I enjoyed in 2017.

Question: What were your favorite surprise reads of the year?


In Memoriam by Nathan Burgoine – In Memoriam was only 46 pages long but is a story that has stayed with me. It’s about a man dying of brain cancer and is trippy, non linear (something I usually hate) and surprisingly funny. I wasn’t expecting something so emotionally intense from a novella. My review


Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1 No Normal by G.Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Jacob Wyatt – I have found graphic novels to be difficult to navigate and follow in the past but Ms. Marvel was a joy to read. Great story, characters and illustrations. I’ve since downloaded vol. 2 and it’s spurred me to try a few other GN’s. My review


Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig – I don’t read – or enjoy- many thrillers/mysteries but I loved this one! Flynn was a such a relatable MC and his coming of age story combined with a touch of romance and mystery was the perfect balance for me. My review


All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells was sci-fi that I could understand and have fun with. Murderous robots with feelings and snarky dialogue, nefarious plots and betrayals FTW. Goodreads


Agents Irish and Whiskey trilogy by Layla Reyne – Another genre – thriller/suspense – that I don’t usually enjoy but this series had me hooked and I binge read the whole thing in a few days. My series review

What 2017 reads took you by surprise?