Listen Up! Podcast Apps

May 14, 2015 Listen Up 4

In my podcasts-life, I have used a lot of podcast apps. I have many opinions. My friend Amanda, from Fig and Thistle, recently asked me which my favorite was and then said I should write a post on it. So, here we go!

My first podcast app was the app that came on my Apple iPhone. Simply called Podcasts, it is a simple app. It does the basic things; download, stream, find new podcasts, etc. It gets the job done, if you don’t want much out of your podcasting life.

Others I have tried include:


They are all more than adequate. I had found some measure of happiness with Downcast. But I wanted something more and I was still looking.

Then, one day, Shannon from River City Reading mentioned an app called Pocket Casts.

::angels singing::

It was love at first listen. Easy to use, easy to find new podcasts, and the thing, THE THING, I wanted: playlists. Pocket Casts allows listeners to set up a list of podcasts, in whatever order you wish. I listen to a lot of podcasts. Some of them are older, and have lots of episodes. It’s not unusual for me to binge listen. Playlists make this SO MUCH EASIER. Really, the only thing that could make podcast life more fun for me is being able to make friends through the app so that I can see what they are listening to.

I am such a podcast addict.

What do you listen to podcasts on? Are you a diehard fan of a certain app? What do you love about it?





Top Ten Tuesday – I Would Very Much Like to Meet You

May 12, 2015 Meme 9


And when I say “meet” I actually mean see speak. Because the meeting of authors scares me. I’ve only met one, Neil Gaiman, a couple of years ago and I actually said hello and got a hug. Anything more than that and I would have been a puddle of Heather on the floor. So, saying that, here are the authors I’d like to “meet:”

1. Neil Gaiman (again): I saw him speak once and it was magic. I definitely want to see him again.

2. Patrick Ness: I imagine he gives great talks. And I want to hear what he has to say about the Chaos Walking movies!

3. Noelle Stevenson: Author of the Lumberjanes comics, I think she’d be a ton of fun to listen to.

4. JK Rowling: I think it would probably be a nightmare to see her (just think of the crowds!) but also totally worth it.

5. Allie Brosh: After reading Hyperbole and a Half, I sort of feel like I have a best friend out there I’ve never met.

6. Patrick Rothfuss: Author of one of my absolute favorite fantasy series, I could stand to listen to him speak for quite a long time. I’d love to hear about how he came up with his epic stories.

7. Joyce Carol Oates: If her Twitter account is any indication, she would be an…interesting…author to see in person.

8. Lucy Knisley: Another best friend I’ve never met, I imagine Lucy has a ton of stories to tell-that she hasn’t told yet, anyway.

9. Mary Roach: Can you imagine the things she would talk about?!!

10. Anthony Bourdain: I mean, can you imagine? Has GOT to be fascinating.

Which authors would you like to meet, or, like me, just want to hear speak?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



Bout of Books 13: Master Post

May 11, 2015 Books 2


Day 1 – Bookish Survey

1. How do you organize your shelves?

Ha! I don’t. New books get stuck where ever they will fit. It’s really quite sad.

2. What is one of your favorite book that’s not in one of your favorite genres?

Don’t read many westerns, but I absolutely adore Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.

3. What is the last 5 star book you read?

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. So so so so so SO good.

4. What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon?

The one I finish first.

5. What book do you recommend the most?

Hmmmm…..Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman maybe? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith? Still trying to get Andi to read The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon!

Number of pages read today: 61
Total number of pages: 61
Books Completed :  None :(


Number of pages read today: 64
Total number of pages: 128
Books Completed : Still none….


Number of pages read today: 96
Total number of pages: 224
Books Completed : Ugh. None.


Number of pages read today: 67
Total number of pages: 291
Books Completed : Zero. Big, fat zero.


Number of pages read today: 64
Total number of pages: 355
Books Completed : Don’t even ask me.


Number of pages read today: 300
Total number of pages: 655
Books Completed : Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson, Rutabage the Adventure Chef Volume 1 by Eric  Colossal


Number of pages read today: 67
Total number of pages: 722
Books Completed : Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson, Rutabage the Adventure Chef Volume 1 by Eric  Colossal



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

May 11, 2015 Books, Meme 2


I’m still not reading anything, yet. I gave myself a break yesterday, but now, today, I have a stack of books for Bout of Books 13! Yay! And I am ready to break this slump.

I setting myself the goal of finishing 4 books this week. Here’s my list of books to try to get to this week:

The Summer Book by Jove Jansson
The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley
A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr
Jamaica Dreams by Rosemarie Robotham
The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
The Graveyard Book, the Graphic Novel, Volumes 1 and 2 by Neil Gaiman
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Rutabaga: The Adventure Chef, Volume 1 by Eric Colossal
Batman Unwrapped: The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder
Afterbirth by by Elisa Albert
On Beauty by by Elaine Scarry
It’s What I Do: A Photographers Life in Love and War by Lynsey Addario
Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson

That should be enough to get me started, right? Wish me luck.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Currently // Happy Mother’s Day!

May 10, 2015 Miscellaneous 6

Right this minute | I’m reveling in all the extra love. I get loved every day, but Mother’s Day brings gifts.

Feeling | Happy!

Reading | I finally gave up on all the books I’ve been reading for the last three. weeks. Seriously, I haven’t finished a book book in three weeks. I’m trying to find the right book now to rev up my reading. So happy Bout of Books is this coming week; it usually helps get the juice going!

Listening | We did a major cleaning of the house yesterday, so I listened to music all day. Right now, my son is belting out some song of his own creation.

Watching | I’m all caught up on The Blacklist, so I’m waiting for Thursday. I need a new show to binge watch.

Blogging | This past week I bemoaned my lack of reading, again, I shared ten books I’m absolutely almost certain I will never read, and I shared my thoughts on Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey.

Promoting | I have several things to promote, verrrrry soon.


Loving | Strawberries. They are finally at the Farmer’s market and oh my Susan B. Anthony they are so sweet and juicy.

Hating | That it may rain today!

Eating | My Mother’s Day breakfast of ham omelet, strawberries, tomatoes, and pickles!

Exercising | Ha! What IS that?

Anticipating | Our annual Mother’s Day cookout later today. Rain or shine!

Happy Mother’s Day!!



Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey

May 6, 2015 Books 8 ★★★★★

Girl in the Dark by Anna LyndseyGirl in the Dark
by Anna Lyndsey
Narrator: Hannah Curtis
Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
Published by Random House Audio
on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Autobiography, Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
A gorgeous memoir of an unthinkable life: a young woman writes of the sensitivity to light that has forced her to live in darkness, and of the love that has saved her.

“Something is afoot within me that I do not understand, the breaking of a contract that I thought could not be broken, a slow perverting of my substance.”

Anna was living a normal life. She was ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. But then she started to develop worrying symptoms: her face felt like it was burning whenever she was in front of the computer. Soon this progressed to an intolerance of fluorescent light, then of sunlight itself. The reaction soon spread to her entire body. Now, when her symptoms are at their worst, she must spend months on end in a blacked-out room, losing herself in audio books and elaborate word games in an attempt to ward off despair. During periods of relative remission she can venture cautiously out at dawn and dusk, into a world that, from the perspective of her normally cloistered existence, is filled with remarkable beauty.

And throughout there is her relationship with Pete. In many ways he is Anna’s savior, offering her shelter from the light in his home. But she cannot enjoy a normal life with him, cannot go out in the day, and even making love is uniquely awkward. Anna asks herself “By continuing to occupy this lovely man while giving him neither children nor a public companion nor a welcoming home—do I do wrong?” With gorgeous, lyrical prose, Anna brings us into the dark with her, a place from which we emerge to see love, and the world, anew.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Imagine a world that is dark. So dark that light doesn’t even shine through the cracks. No glimmer of light through the blinds. No shimmer beneath the door. Complete. Total. Black.

This is the life Anna Lyndsey lives every day.

Burns? Burns like the worst kind of sunburn. Burns like someone is holding a flame-thrower to my head.

Anna has an extremely rare and terrible form of photo-sensitivity. At her worst, she stays in complete darkness. At her best, she is able to go out after dusk or before daybreak to take a walk. Sunlight, indoor light, computer light; all of it burns her skin. This means no reading, no television, no work, no cooking, nothing. Nothing. Nothing. And the pain can be unbearable.

How she shares her journey through this debilitating illness is nothing short of beautiful. Her prose is clear and captivating. Reading (or in this case, listening) to her story and how she has made it through is nothing short of inspiring. Being invited to witness her private thoughts on her life and her feelings throughout (is she being selfish, living with the man who loves her, but can’t have her as a normal companion? Does she want to live out her life this way? How does she keep her sanity?) feels like a privilege.

You guys. This book. I mean, this book. You guys. Seriously. It feels kind of horrible to say I loved it, but I loved it. This is the first book I’ve listened to that was narrated by Hannah Curtis and I hope it isn’t the last. Her narration was perfect. As I’m discovering, I love memoirs in audio and this one is no exception.

Highly recommended.

Favorite quotes:

Friendship plants itself as a small unobtrusive seed; over time, it grows thick roots that wrap around your heart. When a love affair ends, the tree is torn out quickly, the operation painful but clean. Friendship withers quietly, there is always hope of revival. Only after time has passed do you recognise that it is dead, and you are left, for years afterwards, pulling dry brown fibres from your chest.

My ears become my conduit to the world. In the darkness I listen—to thrillers, to detective novels, to romances; to family sagas, potboilers and historical novels; to ghost stories and classic fiction and chick lit; to bonkbusters and history books. I listen to good books and bad books, great books and terrible books; I do not discriminate. Steadily, hour after hour, in the darkness I consume them all.

Most of the time, I do not want to die. But I would like to have the means of death within my grasp. I want to feel the luxury of choice, to know the answer to “How do I bear this?” need not always be “Endure.



Top Ten Tuesday – Ain’t Gonna Do It

May 5, 2015 Meme 12


I don’t know about you, but I feel kind of…dirty…making a list of books I know I will never read. Yet, it’s the truth. There are millions of books I will never read, but there are some I just KNOW I’m not going to read. Like, with certainty. Will not touch them. With that proverbial ten-foot-pole. Here are a few shining examples of books I’m like, 99.9% sure, I will never read.

1. Ulysses by James Joyce – Intimidating. Pure, and simple.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – Ugh. Depressing! I’ve tried several times and I just can’t take it.

3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra – If there is a book on this list that I may someday read, it’s this one. And then I look at how thick it is and go, yeah, maybe not.

4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville – I read TWO HUNDRED PAGES of this train ship wreck over 10 years ago and put it down with tears of absolute BOREDOM in my eyes. Never. Again.

5. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James – Ew. Just…ew.

6. Pet Sematary by Stephen King – I saw the movie, that was enough. No no no no no no.

7. The Shining by Stephen King – I did not see the movie. I don’t need to see it or read the book to know that it’s a big, huge NO for me.

8. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon – Lengthy. Complex. Postmodern. All things that give me the heebie jeebies.

9. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace – 1,088 pages. Yes, The Stand was longer. But apparently this book has many subplots, zany political satire, morbid, cerebral humor and astonishing range of cultural references that I’m almost certain would be lost on me.

10. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen – Basically, it’s Jonathan Franzen. I can’t stand him.

How about you? Are there any books you absolutely WILL NOT READ?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

May 4, 2015 Books, Meme 7


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Look familiar? It should! It is exactly what I was reading LAST week. AND the week before that. I hope I can finish at least one of them this week. I’m afraid if I don’t, I’m really heading into a mega slump.

Oh wait. I forgot I added Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larsen to the mix last week. Because 3 books aren’t enough. No wonder I can’t finish anything….

Up next, well, there are lots of things. I’d really like to get started on It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario (Kim has me dying to read it) and The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. I’m such a sucker for a book with books on the cover.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

Oh, and May the Fourth be with you!!! 😀

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Currently // It’s a Gorgeous Day!

May 3, 2015 Miscellaneous 5

Right this minute | I’m fixing my daughter’s iPod. Because, of course. Also contemplating what to do outside on this gorgeous day!

Feeling | Irritable. My head hurts. The ibuprofen should kick in soon.

Reading | Ugh. Why ask me that? It’s been at a standstill all week. I’ve mainly been listening to Dead Wake by Erik Larson and I did manage to read quite a bit of The Wind Is Not a River by Brian Payton yesterday. End of semester is super busy at the university.

Listening | I added a bunch of music from my youth (late 80s, 90s) on my Spotify playlist Friday night. We were jamming in the car yesterday!

Watching | I watched Pitch Perfect Friday night. Perfection.

Blogging | During my brief break I tried to get ahead a little bit. I have about three half reviews and a few topics drafted for emergencies.

Promoting | Nothing. Yet. The Estella Society has been plotting for summer. More details coming soon!

Loving | Did I mention the weather?

Hating | Did I mention the headache? And lack of reading? ::sigh::

Eating | We have a birthday party later. I’ll probably have to pack my lunch since they will probably have pizza. I meal planned like a little mother nut earlier in the week, so I KNOW what I have and what I’ll be making all week. Score!

Exercising | Uhh….what’s that?

Anticipating | Summer!!!