Reading Books

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I have so far read 2 out of 7 books that I chose for the Goodreads 2018 reading challenge, and my brain seems exhausted after only 2 books lol. I think because I didn’t give myself any time between books to properly absorb what I had read, or perhaps it’s like when you are going to the gym every day and your muscles aren’t used to the constant abuse of the machines that they start cramping up randomly for no apparent reason. Does that make sense?

I’m on my 3rd book on page 47 which is chapter 4 and the book is called Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris who also wrote all the Sookie Stackhouse novels which is where the True Blood series came from.

Today I haven’t read anything, and it’s 1pm and I’m already falling asleep from exhaustion, and I’m wondering just how I can be so sleepy when I haven’t accomplished a thing today. All I’ve done today was basically I just woke up, ate breakfast and lunch, played video games and basically exist and that was enough to make me drowsy. Yes, I’m typing this while stuggling to keep my eyes open, so I’m going to cut this short and go take a nap.

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Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge

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I recently recommended books based on a Facebook challenge, but I myself have not actually read a book in the last 2 years. The last book I read was called Liar’s Blade, a Pathfinder Tale’s book, apparently number 13 in the series, which I did not know until just now. Before that, the last book I read I finished in November 2014. So, how can I be recommending books to people when I am terrible at reading a book?

I actually started reading 2 books recently. I started reading V: The Original Miniseries earlier this year in February. The Nook version has 595 pages, and I’ve already read 125, so I’m on chapter 4. I also started to read Question Quest which is the 14th book in the Xanth series and I’m on chapter 8. That book has 271 pages and I am currently on page 100. So I am at least making an attempt to read.

Last night I decided I need to take the challenge since I am recommending books, so I challenged myself to read 7 books, and I added 7 books to a new Goodreads list called 2018-challenge.

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I’ve been waiting a long time to read some of these books, like for example I bought Gladiator’s Master in 2012 and it’s literally been sitting in my Nook library waiting to be read, same with Question Quest. I stopped reading the Sookie Stackhouse books after True Blood ended, and I really want to go back and finish them. Splinter’s is a book that was recommended to me by the author himself when he visited and spoke in front of a group I belong to and I bought the Nook book when I came home that night and I guess I just never gave it a chance. Then this year I bought V, and read a few chapters, but that was it. I’ve actually been holding on to Queen of Sorcery for a lot longer, I have the Belgariad volume books which has 3 books in the first volume, and I read the first book in the series in 2010 after my aunt recommended it to me in 2005, I just never moved on to the 2nd book, so I added it recently for this challenge, and since I am reading V The Original Miniseries, I figure I might as well read the Second Generation while I’m at it, you know?

The order in which I read all of these books doesn’t matter, I mean obviously I’m not reading the first one on the list. These were listed this way based on the dates they were added into my account, not based on the order I will read them. And it doesn’t matter what I read first, Goodreads will only count the book for the 2018 challenge after I’ve finished reading it.

Anyway, I had to stop reading for the night because I have been reading for several hours today, and I can only read for so long before the words stop making sense to me, so I figured I’d write this blog post instead, and hope it makes sense lol.

Have you taken the Goodreads 2018 reading challenge? And if so, have you completed the challenge or are you still challenging yourself?

Edit: I’m going to cheat a little. I added a new book to my 2018-challenge list called Zombie Day Care because according to “Details” it’s only 134 pages. A lot of the books I’ve chosen to add to my list are almost 300 or in some cases almost 600 pages long, so in order for me to read 7 books this year, I’m going to need some easier books that I can go through quicker to basically catch up.

Recommended Books

People like to play games on Facebook, like let’s set up a thing where we recommend a book for 7 days, and each day we recommend a book, we also nominate someone to also recommend books and we keep this going FOREVER UNTIL THE END OF TIME! LOL

So I thought ok, this is actually fun, so I did it and I’ve already finished my 7th day, but I thought it would be fun to also come here and recommend each one of those books because why not?

Day 1 Harry Potter1. The complete Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I recommend this every time because these books are so easy to read, and they make you feel smart for reading books. I wasn’t a reader at all until I was in my early to mid 30’s, and I decided it was my New Years Resolution to start reading, and I did and this was the first major series I read from beginning to end without stopping. I literally sat on my bed reading these books for 8 hours at a time. Wild horses couldn’t tear me away from these books. Anyway, I guess you could say I like them, otherwise they wouldn’t be my #1 book.

Day 2 A Spell for Chameleon2. A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

My friend Alyce recommended this series to me in 2009. Everything in these books are a pun or a joke. Like if they mention rolling hills, the hills are literally rolling. If they mention a sandwich bush, the bush is literally growing sandwiches. Take everything literal in this series.

There are now 41 books in the series, yes, he is still publishing new books. The first book A Spell for Chameleon was published in 1977 and the 41st book Ghost Writer in the Sky was published in 2017.

Trust me when I say you will not be disappointed in this series.

Day 3 My Heart is Within You3. My Heart is Within You by Marguerite Labbe

I discovered a website called Rainbow eBooks in 2010 and one of the first books I saw advertised on the front page was My Heart is Within You. It’s a vampire story, and I do love vampire stories, but it’s not just any vampire, it’s a gay vampire who falls in love with a college jock, because, why not? Anyway, it’s a good story. There are 3 books in what is referred to a Triquetra Trilogy. This is also the first series where I occasionally had to stop reading because the writing gave me a um… how do I put this politely… a reason to go to take a cold shower. The sex scenes are um… juicy. Marguerite Labbe is the first straight woman to ever give me a boner with her writing. Well, so much for being polite.

Day 4 Sookie Stackhouse4. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

I watched and loved the True Blood series on HBO, and just like most everything, this show was based on a series of books called the Sookie Stackhouse series. I was very shocked to see that there were so many differences in the books from the series. I mean, obviously they cannot make a tv show verbatim to the book, but they were almost like they were two completely separate worlds altogether, like an alternate universe if you will where Lafayette is dead after the first book, but he’s still alive in the series, and where Elvis is alive in the books and he’s called Vampire Bubba, but there’s absolutely no mention of him in the series because he doesn’t seem to exist. Thing’s like that. Anyway, if you loved the series, read the books and you will see what I’m talking about.

Day 5 Belgariad5. The Belgariad by David Eddings

When I visited my Aunt Louise in Texas for Christmas in 2005, we spoke about how I loved to read now, and she recommended these books to me. To me, these books are very similar to the Lord of the Ring’s, but it seems to be more like a Dungeon’s & Dragon’s type of story, which is what I like.

I’m not gonna lie, the first book Pawn of Prophecy is really hard to read at first, but once you get started, you will be able to read it all the way through, and it might even be difficult to put it down. I bought the Belgariad Volume 1 and 2 and so far I’ve only read the first book, but I will be getting back to reading them because I did like the first book.

Day 6 Cirque Du Freak6. Cirque Du Freak: A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan

I saw the movie Cirque Du Freak The Vampire’s Assistant, and I thought it was a really good movie, I mean that’s on my top 10 movies too. But the books are 100% better. There are 12 books in the series and they take you on the complete journey of this character and his friends. You are there with Darren every step of the way, and in your mind, you are one of his companions on his journey.

The movie jumps from scene to scene really fast, blink and you might miss something, the books take things a bit slower and you get more details that you never got to see in the movie.

Day 7 V7. V: The Original Miniseries by Kenneth Johnson and A.C. Crispin

When V The Original Miniseries aired in the early 1980’s, I watched it with my family. Most of my family didn’t really care for it, but for some odd reason it really brought me and my mother closer together when it became a weekly series. We watched it every week, just her and I and the rest of the family watched whatever else was on TV in the other room, whatever that might have been. It was probably something sappy like Dallas or Dynasty lol.

Anyway, when I discovered there was a book, I asked my mother for it and she bought it for me and I think I only read half of the book. I had a lot of trouble reading because of my dyslexia, but I got as far as I could and I was very proud of myself. I bought that book again at a book store in 2005 and I still have it.

This is a new cover for the Nook ebook and the listing says that the V novel is finally back in print, with an all-new, never-before-seen revised ending. So that’s why I bought the Nook version. There is another Nook ebook called V: The Second Generation.

Those are my 7 days worth of books, or series of books, that should keep you busy for a long time lol. I have a few more honorary mentions, I’ll just post the picture. Anyway, thanks for reading my blog post, happy book reading.

Dungeons & Dragons

D&D The Wilderness Tiles

Call me excited! I am finally buying the things I need to write my fantasy fiction novel based on my character from the game EverQuest. I’m going to be using the Dungeons & Dragons style of gameplay to write most of the book. The reason is because I have a somewhat okay imagination, but it’s not that good that I can just start saying “this guy did this with his blade” and “that guy did that with his staff” and “this enchanter cast this spell on the orc.” I played EverQuest for many years, but I never really paid too much attention to the mechanics of the game. I kept all the battle spam out of the guild/group chat window.

dwarven steel D&D diceMy partner actually bought me this tile set at Barnes & Noble today. I actually read the description on the back wrong. I thought it said it included the D&D starter set, the Dungeon Master’s kit, Miniatures and tile sets, but it just has the Wilderness tile set. Last week I bought these dice from someone on Etsy, it includes a bracelet lol. I just want the dice, but I can give the bracelet away. The dice just shipped today and they said it should be here by next Monday. UGH! Well, I’ve waited all these years to get started, I can wait another week.

I decided that I wanted to buy some other things that are also important when playing, or learning to play Dungeons and Dragons, such as the starter kit and some miniatures, which are what I thought came with the Wilderness tiles. The starter kit will come with its own pair of dice, but I figured they would probably be plain white or something, so I don’t regret buying the extra dice from Etsy.  I also bought 3 sets of miniatures. Fantasy Figures, Army Builder and Skeleton Warriors. I figure the army builder one will be the characters in my story, the fantasy figures will be the bad guys which I will place in random spots on the tiles, and same with the skeleton warriors.

army builderfantasy figuresskeleton warriorsstarter kit

I didn’t realize it at first, but the army builder characters are lego characters heh. That’s fine, they don’t have to all be the same exact thing, as long as they fit on the wilderness tiles and don’t fall down, it’ll be fine. Now all I need is a good story that won’t bore anyone to death.

Nook HD+ Unlock Your eBook Prompt

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I went into a slight panic attack yesterday when I saw this message. I highlight several eBooks in my Nook, and I was looking for one particular highlight so I could copy the quote. I saw the quote in the “Your Highlights and Notes” app on my Nook HD+ and clicked open, but it wouldn’t because the eBook was no longer downloaded. I guess after so much time, your eBooks get deleted from your tablets to save room for more stuff, and to read them again you simply download them again. I can see that being a good thing, but I personally don’t want to have to do that. If I decide I will never need the book again then I will archive it, but otherwise, I see no reason removing it from my Nook.

This is my issue with this particular problem. I bought this particular eBook when I bought my very first Nook back in 2007, or was it 2008? I can’t recall, which brings me to my next point, the credit card number that was used is long gone since it is long expired and I was issued a new card. My credit card or debit card number changes from year to year or every couple of years, that is of course depending on if I lost my card and had to get a new one. At any rate, the card I have now is definitely not the same card I had way back when I bought this particular eBook. So how the heck am I supposed to download this again if I don’t have that old credit card number?

So this is what I did. I went to Google and typed “Nook Unlock Your eBook” and found a website that said to archive that eBook, then make it active again. I had to use my computer for this because I wasn’t sure if I knew my Nook password lol. It’s stored in my computer rather than my Nooks browser because I very rarely visit the Nook website. I went to Nook.com and clicked MY NOOK at the top, then signed in and clicked My Library. Then I found the eBook and clicked move to archive. Then I had to scroll up and tick where it says Show Active Items or Archived, and clicked Archived. I found the eBook and clicked Move to Active. I was able to download it without issue on my Nook HD+ after that.

I’m sure no one has had this issue, but just in case someone has and haven’t a clue what to do, this should help, at least I hope it does. If it did, let me know.

Happy reading! Smile

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

I love my Nook HD+.  I have been having so much fun with it since I got it for Christmas, actually the week before Christmas.  Yeah we don’t conform to the traditions of opening your presents on Christmas day, or even on birthdays.  We open presents the day we get them.  Screw tradition lol.

My Nook HD+ has a 9” screen, so it’s bigger than the Nook HD in the sense that it has 2 more inches, but I’m telling you that because there are certain apps that work with 7 inches, but don’t work with 9 inches.  Like The Sims FreePlay and Viggle for example.  The Sims FreePlay is downloadable, you just can’t play it because you get this warning when you try.

The Sims FreePlay

I am not sure if The Sims FreePlay will even work with a Nook HD 7” tablet.  I know it works with the Kindle Fire because I’ve seen people taking pictures and video of it on that device.  I’m pretty sure it was the 7”, so if it runs on the Kindle Fire 7”, then it probably runs on the Nook HD 7”.  If so or not, please let me know.

Viggle on the other hand doesn’t even show up in the Google Play Store, so they don’t even give you the option.  I know it works on 7” tablets because I installed it on my partner’s tablet to see if I could do trivia when trivia wasn’t giving me any points with my phone.  It installed and looked great too, but the trivia was not working on his tablet any better than it was on my phone.  Although, just because it installed on his tablet doesn’t mean I know if it will install on a Nook HD 7” tablet.

Facebook isn’t great on the Nook HD+ when you use the app.  Using the browser is so much better because you get the full website that you get on the computer, but the only problem I have is when I use another tab to visit another website, or even if I use an app, like if I go check my email, when I come back to the Facebook tab, it goes straight to the mobile version.  If I wanted to use Facebook mobile, I would just use the Facebook app.

The Twitter app that comes with the Nook HD+ from the Nook store isn’t updated, so it’s better to let Google Play update it.  It’s easy to use and if you have multiple twitter accounts, you can switch back and forth very easily.  It’s actually better on the Nook HD+ than it is on my phone.  When I am using @xanapus on my phone, then try to switch over to another twitter name, for some odd reason it switches me back to @xanapus.  It doesn’t do that on my Nook HD+.

I didn’t like the Google+ app on my phone and I rarely ever use it on my computer, but it is great on the Nook HD+.  That’s one of the social media websites that I wanted to start using more often.  It has a much better look than Facebook does in my opinion.  Google+ doesn’t force you to look at ads or suggested posts.

One annoying thing that I noticed is that when I am in my library, I scroll down to My Files and see there are 564 files.  How the heck am I supposed to weed through all of those files to get to the ebooks I have downloaded?  Well, I discovered that if you click the words My Files, it brings up a new window which shows folders.  They are in the Download folder.  I have 6 ebooks that I downloaded from the EverQuest Next website that are fiction based books based on EverQuest the game, but they are all in PDF format.  Ebooks that I’ve downloaded in ePub format will show up with my Nook books, but the PDF files don’t.  I did download an app called File Manager HD which allowed me to create a new folder in my download folder so I could keep the EQN ebooks in there to keep that folder more organized.

PicsArt Photo Studio is a good app that I use on my phone to add stickers and frames and text to my pictures, but it’s such a small screen that sometimes it’s difficult to see what I’m doing.  My Nook HD+ doesn’t have a camera, but I can use Google Drive to retrieve my files.  What I really like most is that I can write on the screen with this.  I can do that on my phone, but it’s too small.

Happy New Year 2014

Okay, so my handwriting isn’t the best, it’s even worse on paper lol.

ChromecastSome useful apps that come with the Nook HD+ include Netflix and Hulu+ and if you have a Google Chromecast, you can watch them on your TV.  You don’t even need to have the Google Chromecast app installed to use it.  I know this because I bought it for my partner and I couldn’t get it to connect to his tablet.  I connected it with my CR-48 aka Chromebook, then was able to connect it to his tablet.  I don’t have the app installed on my Nook HD+ or my phone, but the icon is visible on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu+.  I guess any Android or Apple device that is connected to my network will have that ability.

Of course, other good uses for the Nook HD+ is actually reading a book lol.  You aren’t limited to Nook books either, you can read your Kindle books plus your Google Play books.  In fact, if there is a service that sells ebooks, you can read the books you bought from them, including pdf files and ebooks.  Some writers only publish their ebook with Amazon KDP Select because they get more advertising, and if they chose KDP Select, they can only publish with Amazon for 3 months.  That’s why it’s good to use the Kindle on my Nook, because some ebooks aren’t available on the Nook.

One of the features that I do like is the Nook app “Your Highlights and Notes.”  If you do a lot of highlighting and like to add notes, this is a good thing.  It had all the highlights from the Nook for PC when I got it, but it didn’t show any text.  When I add new highlights, it shows the page number and the first couple of sentences that I highlighted, and if I left a note, it shows my note.  That makes it so much easier to find every highlight and every note on every ebook you own whether it’s downloaded or in the cloud.  Highlighting and leaving notes on my Nook WiFi was so difficult and as soon as I started reading another ebook, all of the highlights and notes disappeared, which was very frustrating.

There is also a Nook app called “Your Lookups” that shows you every word you ever had to find the definition for.  That does come in handy if you ever want to find that specific word again.  The list of words you looked up are on the left, and the word, the book you found it in, the page and the date and time you looked it up are on the right along with the definition of the word.  WOW!  Now you have a record of the date and time you learned a new word.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the Nook HD+.  I like it a lot and I will get a ton of use out of it.  I still have my Nook WiFi and I don’t think I will use it as often for reading ebooks, but if the occasion ever arises when I go outside to read, I will be able to use it.

Glowing Review from Marguerite Labbe

I woke up this morning and immediately turned on my computer so I could check my email while I ate my breakfast and I came across an email from my favorite author Marguerite Labbe.  She posted a review of my book on her blog and I was so beyond excited because I wasn’t sure how people would feel about reading my book, but apparently it’s good.

Marguerite Labbe is an award-winning M/M author.  She wrote those gay vampire books that I love so much starting with  “My Heart Is Within You.”  I really love to read supernatural fiction, especially when they have vampires, ESPECIALLY when they are gay vampires lol.  She really knows how to capture the raw sexuality of two hot gay men better than I have ever even experienced.  Let’s just say that I had to take several bathroom breaks when I read her book.

MargueriteLabbe.com: Diary of a Gay Nerd by Michel McDonald

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2012

Diary of a Gay Nerd by Michel McDonald

“I’ve had a hard time putting into words how I felt when I read Michel’s memoir.  Many parts struck a chord in me from my own childhood, though I was far luckier than Michel was and I didn’t have the added alienation of being gay.  I’ve known Michel for several years now, ever since he picked up my vampire trilogy and we started talking.  In that time, I’ve found him to be a very kind, passionate and determined man.  After reading his memoir I have to add brave to that as well and not just for what he endured and overcame.  To be able to write something like this, with such unflinching honesty, takes a rare kind of person.  Michel doesn’t gloss over his own mistakes, but puts them out there just as baldly as the abuse he went through.

“I am honored to know such a man and call him my friend.”

How awesome is that?  When I first read her book after buying it from Rainbow eBooks, I knew I had to find her on Twitter and tweet her telling her how awesome her book was.  I was surprised that she responded, but equally surprised that she continued talking to me through Twitter.  We have been talking ever since.  I think Twitter is one of the most amazing online services ever invented.

Thank you Marguerite Labbe for writing this review.  I have added it to the Barnes & Noble website btw.