Sunday check-in

All posts in the Sunday check-in category

Sunday Checkin- Where have I been?

Published May 12, 2013 by Shannon

My last blog post was in September. It is now May. A whole school year has come and gone since I last updated. For shame.

So what’s been going on? Let me make a list.

  • 1. I moved halfway across the country. (a good decision, though I miss my family)
  • 2. I got a job as a Reader’s Advisor at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library. (More on that in future posts, I’m sure, but money and a job are both good things.)
  • 3. I have not been reading nearly as much as I would like, but I’m still plugging along.
  • 4. I have become friends with my roommate’s guide dog. I definitely want one of my own, if I ever get the vacation time for it.
  • 5. Part of my trip to work involves a ferry. Or, as one of my friends put it, somewhat incredulously, “So you’re telling me you go to work on a boat?” Yes, ma’am. That is what I’m saying.

I do want to talk a bit about my job, as it does relate to the purposes of this blog. Basically, our library lends books out throughout the state to patrons who are print-disabled. We’re part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and we’re also affiliated with the Washington State Library.
My day involves a lot of talking to people on the phone, many of whom are elderly, and trying to find appropriate books for them. Most of them simply can’t come in and browse the shelves at our library anyway, and it makes picking out books somewhat difficult.

I enjoy my job. The rest of the staff is warm and friendly, most of the patrons are extremely nice, if clearly somewhat lonely, and at the end of the day I feel rewarded because I’m keeping someone apprised of books.

The downside of my work, though, is that I’ve become more conscious of how much the Internet is a privilege. Many of our patrons are elderly, and don’t have computers, or couldn’t use them if they did. Many of our books are downloadable only. I, on the other hand, have thousands of books at my fingertips. I could go to Audible and buy any old audiobook I wanted. I have access to Bookshare, a website for the distribution of ebooks to the print-disabled. And now both the Nook and Kindle apps are accessible on my iPhone. there isn’t perfect accessibility–not every book I ever want to read is on one of those services–but I have it a lot better than my patrons do. Particularly if I want to research a specialized topic. As one of my colleagues put it, we have the contents of a small branch library in an affluent district. Which is fine for most things, but I know it frustrates people when we can’t fill their specialized niches.

I don’t know what the solution is. Clearly, everyone should be able to afford an iPhone and a computer, and there should be some magical way of transferring knowledge about how to use those devices into people’s brains somehow. Except there isn’t. And in a way I’m glad there isn’t, because I like that these older people need me. I just wish they didn’t have to.

Monday checkin for July 23

Published July 23, 2012 by Shannon

Happy Monday, everyone!

It’s been a grueling week at Casa de Shannon. I’ve been in the process of moving, and so have spent the past three days with sore feet, achy muscles, and obnoxious headaches as I try to get everything into the new digs I like to think of as my parents’ house.

Consequently, I haven’t done much reading. I’m trying to finish Outlander, but it’s very slow going considering I haven’t had a chance to truly sit down with it. But I’m determined to get it done this week.
I’m glad I had posts scheduled for this week. I have a feeling next week may be a little content-poor as family obligations will keep me offline much of the time and also away from my books. But, as they say, c’est la vie.

I’m starting to get excited about the Olympics. I’m not much of a sports person, but other people around me have great enthusiasm, and I have to admit it’s infectious. Not sure what I really want to watch, but I expect to be entertained.

Last week was fraught with online drama. I have no idea if any of it is still going on, and am kind of relieved I haven’t had a chance to spend hours absorbed in the train wrecks. I hope this week is calmer for all of us in book blogland.

Oh, and… I finally had The Talk with my mom. You know the one. The one where she asked if I’d heard of a certain obnoxiously prevalent book featuring a number, a color, and terribly written BDSM. She heard about it on NPR apparently, and about its start as fan fiction. She has not read it, although as we are now living together, the moment she does, I’m sure I’ll know about it. I did not tell her that “50 Shades of Your Mom” is one of my favorite blog tags to use.

Have a great week, everyone. May yours be less busy than mine is starting out to be.

Sunday checkin for July 15, 2012

Published July 15, 2012 by Shannon

Happy Sunday, everyone!

It was another quiet week for me. I got a lot of reading done, and I began the slow arduous process of cleaning and packing. Next week will begin the slow arduous process of moving. Unfortunately for me, that involves moving back in with my parents. It’s a temporary move, but neither my parents nor I are thrilled with the idea.

This week has also seen the eruption of a scandal in the book blogosphere. Apparently, someone thought it would be a good idea to help promote the arrival of a kinder, gentler world by… calling out supposed goodreads “bullies” by putting their pictures, names and addresses on the Internet. Because the best way to fight negative reviews of books is clearly to encourage actual stalking. *eye roll* It’s a lot like getting revenge that little Johnny took your favorite toy by launching a nuclear missile at his house. It won’t actually encourage people to be nicer, even if they should be, which is not a call any one of us gets to make for other people. All the site is doing is letting certain people’s crazy hang out there for the entire Internets to see.

n other news, I read my first Kristen Ashley book Motorcycle Man, partially inspired by this recent post. It was… I don’t even know. Terrible, most assuredly, but oddly compelling. Kind of like Flowers in the Attic in the sense that the characters are all terrible, but it’s hard to look away. (That’s where the similarities end, though… Motorcycle Man didn’t have incest, thank God.) I have five or six of Ms. Ashely’s other books, but I think I’ll have to space them out. I’m not sure I’m ready for another blatant jackass of a hero quite so soon. I also finished the Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden. Or, as I like to call it, 50 Shades of Sheldon Cooper. Review is forthcoming, but it was my favorite read of this week.

I’ve been slogging through Outlander and the Passage, both of which are ginormous books, but there’s an end in sight, which is good, because I think Claire Fraser and I need to agree to see other people for a while. I’m about halfway through Dana Marie Bell’s Bear Necessitiesand I’m loving it. It’s funny in a way that works for me, and I feel another author glom coming on soon.

I think I got all of about three comments last week from people that weren’t spammers. Spambots have become clever since the last time I was looking.

I’ve decided that no, I’m not going to list recent acquisitions. I skip over those posts when I read anyway, and I guess you’ll all know soon enough what I’m actually reading.

This week on the blog there’s no real theme. I’ll be reviewing:

  • Yours to Take by Joelly Sue Burkhart
  • Moving in Rhythm by Dev Bentham
  • The Brook Street trilogy by Ava March
  • How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Blacklands by Belinda Bauer

How was your week? Are you reading anything good at the moment?

Sunday check-in for 7/8/12

Published July 8, 2012 by Shannon

Good Sunday afternoon.

It’s been a lazy day over at Casa de Shannon. I’ve been catching up on my blog reading, though I am something like ten days behind, so I haven’t felt compelled to post any comments. I hope to finish my blog reading sometime soon so I can, hopefully, better keep up.

The highlights of this last week’s reading were fairly few. I read Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Graham Smith. My friend Erin and I will be discussing it on the next episode of Book Hoarders, the book podcast I co-host. Suffice to say, though, that it was a solid C book, and the funny parts were, for me, overshadowed by pointless gore.

I also finished a couple of historical romances, since that seems to be where my reading mojo is right now. Julie Anne Long’s How the Marquess Was Won was charming but ultimately forgettable. (Review to come next week.) Jane Austen, who I know doesn’t write genre fiction, but who exactly suited my mood, impressed me with Persuasion. Oh, Anne and Wentworth. *le sigh*. (review to come next week as well.)

I have no idea what to read next. I bought a copy of Blacklands by Belinda Bauer on Audible, and while it’s a short book and appears to be psychological fiction about serial killers–and what’s not to love about that?–I’m still in the mood for more historical romances, so I’m vacillating between that book and A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh. Twitter seems to think I need more serial killers in my book diet, so what say you, random readers?

This week on the blog, I’ll post reviews that loosely have a sci-fi theme. I read them over the last few months, but I couldn’t resist starting out with a bit of a theme week. Books included are:

And lastly a question for the three of you reading this. A lot of book bloggers post about the books they either acquire or are looking forward to acquiring once a week. I could do this too, but I generally skip those posts on other blogs, and it would take quite a bit of work to do it up properly. Also, I don’t expect to get advance reader copies of books. However, many of the publishers that are represented in blogland have a presence on Bookshare, which caters to the print disabled. So I get a lot of books through them for free and I could see the usefulness of having a list of accessible books for any of my blind followers who share my reading tastes.

That’s it for me. Have a great week everybody!