Author Archives: lydias

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: What Inventive Ways Do You Have to Keep Warm?

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A bowl filled with chilli I’m going to assume that everyone already knows about practical ways to stay warm like wearing multiple layers of clothing, choosing thick, warm socks, and doing something active like cleaning or exercising to get your blood pumping faster.

Eating hot, hearty meals is another trick up my sleeve on cold days. If you like and can eat spicy food, that will make it even more effective.

Filling foods that take a long time to digest really go a long way in warming someone up. This is even more true on days when you know you’ll be spending more time outside than usual. It’s much easier to brace the cold when your stomach feels like a happy little furnace that filled with fuel.

I do not know why spicy meals are even better at doing this. Maybe it’s because they make your mouth and esophagus feel extra warm while you’re eating them?

At any rate, some of my favourite things to eat on cold days are chili, stews, soups, spaghetti, and other dishes that have a nice balance of complex carbohydrates, fat, and lots of protein from meat or beans. If you pick the right ingredients, you can get at least one serving of nearly every food group in a single meal as well which is an awesome bonus.

Stay warm, friends! If you live in a part of the world that is not freezing right now, I am just a tad jealous of your balmy weather.

Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A cup of coffee, a dried rose, and an opened book lying on a light purple blanket. Today I’ll be grabbing some books I mentioned in various seasonal TBR topics from previous Top Ten Tuesday posts.

While I did read quite a few of the books I mentioned in those posts, I certainly did not read all of them!

Here are some of the books I’ve yet to read (or finish reading) and my reasons for not reading or finishing them yet.

Maybe this winter will be a good opportunity to dive into their stories?

 

The Salt in Our Blood  by Ava Morgyn book cover. Image on cover shows young girl holding a lantern against a stylized night sky that includes swirls of red, orange, purple, and blue.

The Salt in Our Blood  by Ava Morgyn

Why I Didn’t Read It: I didn’t have time.

 

The Conductors by Nicole Glover book cover. Image on cover shows young woman holding a lantern. There is an illustrated celestial map superimposed on the trees behind her.

The Conductors by Nicole Glover

Why I Didn’t Read It: I didn’t have time.

 

Sisters of the Neversea  by Cynthia Leitich Smith book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of three children wearing pajamas and flying in the air above their homes.

Sisters of the Neversea  by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Why I Didn’t Read It: I didn’t have time.

 

Far Out- Recent Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy  by Paula Guran book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of a magical woman in a blue dress who looks like she's doing a spell. There are twinkling lights around her.

Far Out: Recent Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy  by Paula Guran

Why I Didn’t Read It: I’m still on the library waitlist for it.

 

The Lost Girls  by Sonia Hartl book cover. Image on cover shows vampire with blood coming out of the corner of her mouth .

The Lost Girls  by Sonia Hartl

 

Why I Didn’t Read It: I’m not sure if I’m still interested in it.

 

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor book cover. Image on cover shows african woman holding her head up high.

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

 

Why I Didn’t Read It: I actually did read the first chapter! The plot was so slow that I didn’t get around to finishing it before it was due back at the library. Maybe I’l try again this winter?

 

 

Within These Wicked Walls  by Lauren Blackwood book cover. Imageon cover shows a woman's face superimposed over an imposing mansion

Within These Wicked Walls  by Lauren Blackwood

Why I Didn’t Read It: I’m still on a very long library waitlist for it.

Following the Old Ways: A Review of The White People

Vintage Science Fiction Blog Challenge badge. It shows a rocket ship against a red background. There is a bubble city in the background. Vintage Science Fiction month takes place every January, and has a few guidelines:

 – read, watch, listen to, or experience something science fiction / fantasy that was created in 1979 or earlier

 – talk about it online sometime in January

 – have fun

If any of my readers are also interested in participating this month, let Little Red Reviewer know about your posts if you’d like them to be included in her official roundups. 


Title
: The White People

Author: Arthur Machen

Publisher: Horlick’s Magazine

Publication Date: 1904

Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Historical

Length: 56 pages

Source: It’s free to read here

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb:

A discussion between two men on the nature of evil leads one of them to reveal a mysterious Green Book he possesses. It is a young girl’s diary, in which she describes in ingenuous, evocative prose her strange impressions of the countryside in which she lives as well as conversations with her nurse, who initiates her into a secret world of folklore and black magic.

Review:

Content warning: Death of a child. I will not be discussing it in my review.

Be careful what you wish for.

One of the things I liked the most about this short story was the scientific and methodical manner in which the two main characters went about trying to determine what the Green Book truly was and what happened to the young girl whose diary entries lead them to discover the existence of this book. They were truly interested in getting to the truth. While some portions of the storyline definitely veered further into horror and fantasy than they did pure science fiction, the fact that the protagonists believed everything should have a logical explanation kept me reading until I’d reached the final sentence. That urge to discover the truth is one of the reasons why I love science fiction so much!

This was set at a time when scientific explanations for all sorts of natural phenomena were rapidly beginning to replace the fairy and folk tales that had once explained any number of things that wouldn’t have made sense to the average person. There are some things that lay beyond the purview of science, however, and other ones like psychology or what could be interpreted as certain mental or physical illnesses by modern day readers that weren’t well understood at all in this era.

The epilogue was my favourite part of this tale due to how much effort Ambrose and Cotgrave put into deciphering the unnamed young girl’s diary. She was so purposefully vague about certain details that they could be interpreted in a wide variety of ways as I mentioned earlier. This was also a nice addendum to the conversation Cotgrave and Ambrose had earlier about what the definition of sin should actually be and why many people’s understanding of this topic might not be as well-rounded or accurate as they assume. I can’t go into any more detail about that, but I do encourage anyone who is intrigued to read this for themselves.

If you love the fuzzy area between facts and flights of fancy, The White People might be right up your alley.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books I Want to Read in 2022

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Person with curly hair and glasses cheering on a blue couch as they hold a laptop in their lap.
This isn’t me, but I have been this excited for certain releases in the past!

I’m an avid mood reader who generally finishes 100+ books per year and sometimes gets through much more than that.

As I’ve said in previous posts, many of the books I read are spontaneous picks based on what I find in the new release section of the Toronto Public Library.

That is to say, I’d need a crystal ball in order to know exactly what I’m going to read this year. Ha!

I think there’s something to be said for embracing these moments of joy whenever they happen. No one is ever too old to be thrilled when a favourite author releases something new.

Here are two books I’m so excited to read that I’ve literally put alerts for them on my calendar so I can request them from the library (or buy them if the library doesn’t have them) the second they’re released.

 

A Prayer for the Crown Shy (Monk & Robot #2)  by Becky Chambers 

Release Date: July 12

I know I mentioned this in a recent Top Ten Tuesday post, but I had to include it here as well.

What I loved the most about the first book in this series was how hopeful it was. The narrator described a science fiction future that (so far) has shown no signs of climate change, pandemics, prejudice, war, or inequality. Human populations are much smaller than they are today, but they live quiet and harmonious lives in their little villages.

There’s something irresistible about that setting to me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in such a harmonious society?

 

Empty Smiles (Small Spaces #4) by Katherine Arden

Release Date: August 9

This is a delightful middle grade series about a group of three friends who keep running into a dangerous spirit called the Smiling Man.

I love paranormal stories in general. The nice thing about this particular series is that generally happy endings are all but guaranteed when you’re reading books meant for this age group. So I can enjoy the spooky scenes while being pretty sure that the characters will be triumphant in the end.

That’s the sort of reassuring storyline I’ve been craving this past year or two, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this quartet ends.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

An ereader, a cup of coffee, a pair of black glasses, and a watch sitting on a wooden table. I’m narrowing this week’s topic down to free ebooks that I’ve downloaded from Indie authors. I believe in supporting other authors, especially if they haven’t already established a large audience!

If you’re interested in learning about new free science fiction, fantasy, horror, paranormal, and other speculative fiction books, most of which are written by Indie authors, go follow me on Twitter. I share some of these books every Thursday, and everything in today’s post came from one of those past threads.

I have not read most of these books yet, so I won’t officially recommend them. This is simply a list of tales I thought sounded interesting.

The Baby on the Back Porch by Lucia N. Davis

Is There Anyone Here With Us by Mace Styx

The Ghosts of Holleford Lake by Nicholas R. Adams

Five Fantastic Short Stories by Patrick Canning

Terror at Deventhier Bay by Eloise Molano

 

Oli the Old Owl by Lee Keene review coming in 2022

Escape from the Haunted Planet by Dubya-Ay P the Third

Dare vs. The Doll by Si Clarke

Dead Souls: A Supernatural Short Story Collection by Andrew S. French

The Visitor by Mark Lawrence

 

Have any of you read these books? How often do you read Indie stories and Indie authors in general?

Making Things Right: A Review of The Canterville Ghost

Vintage Science Fiction month takes place every January, and has a few guidelines:  – read, watch, listen to, or experience something science fiction / fantasy that was created in 1979 or earlier  – talk about it online sometime in January  – have fun If any of my readers are also interested in participating this month,… Read More

What I Read in 2021

In January of 2013, I began blogging once a year about everything I’d read that previous year.  This tradition began when my dad asked me how many books I’ve read in my entire lifetime. I couldn’t begin to give him an answer to that question, but it did make me decide to start keeping track… Read More