Monday, May 29, 2017

Chipping Away At The TBR List

GoodReads Shelves as of 05/04/2017

GoodReads Shelves as of 05/25/2017

I don't know about you but I originally have 233 books on my Goodreads To-Read shelf. Not good. So, the last weekend of April, I went through all 233 books on my list and purged those who have fewer than 4 star-rating average. Those that don't have at least a 4-star rating but managed to stay on my TBR list are those that I still really want to read. It brought my list down to 172 books. Better.

Then, since my new Kobo Aura Edition 2 finally came in the mail after much delays, I noticed that a lot of books that I side loaded to the device are not even on my TBR list on Goodreads so I had to add those that I'm still interested in reading. 189 books to read. Still better than 233 books originally on that list. I feel better about that. The TBR list purging goes on. The night of May 4th, I was going through the TBR list to see which one to read first with the intention of prioritizing those already on my device and I noticed that there were still some books that I was pretty sure I removed last weekend but it's still there so I went through the list again and removed them. I also added the rest of the ARKANE books by J.F. Penn and the rest of the Leopold Blake books by Nick Stephenson. My TBR list is now down to 150 (way better) and I’ve also removed ebooks from my device that didn't make the cut on my newly purged TBR list. Hopefully both device and Goodreads TBR list remain the same tomorrow morning. I wonder if it was a Goodreads system glitch or maybe I was adding back all the books I purged in my sleep? Hmmm… I wouldn't put it past my “unconscious, sleeping self” to act of its own accord and add the books back. 

Speaking of eReaders (I don't think I ever mentioned the ones that I have used), I ditched my iPad Air and went back to using my Sony Reader PRS-T1 during the last quarter of 2016 especially because a single charge lasts up to 3 weeks instead of the iPad's 10-hour battery life and I can read clearly outdoors without having to deal with glare from the sunlight on the screen. Yes, I'm one of those who read everywhere (on a dog walk, walking to the grocery store, waiting in line at the checkout counter, waiting at doctor's offices, waiting at restaurants, etc.). Anyway, I'm not exactly sure what happened but all of a sudden, I'm having issues with downloading and reading public library ebooks using my Sony Reader PRS-T1 and the poor thing would only be recognized by the Calibre software on my Mac. The Sony Reader Desktop software and the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software don't even recognize it. It was telling me it's time for it to retire. My faithful and beloved 2nd eReader ever has finally retired. The first eReader I've had was the Sony Reader PRS-300 and it was very basic and slow compared to my PRS-T1 and now, the Kobo Aura Edition 2. The Sony PRS-300 only has 500mb of internal memory, no WiFi, so I have to connect it to my computer all the time to upload ebooks to the device (as if I don't do that now). Then I was gifted with the Sony Reader PRS-T1 for Christmas in 2011 with the book light cover so the PRS-300 got recycled at Best Buy. Sometimes, I wish I'd kept the PRS-300, for what purpose, I don't know. It's probably best to recycle stuff instead of keeping them around, cluttering space. And now, my PRS-T1 has retired. I am definitely growing attached to my Kobo Aura Edition 2 despite initial frustrations such as getting used to the new user interface (UI), issues with ADE ID and Overdrive. Click here to read my in-depth opinions on the Kobo Aura Edition 2. 

2009 Sony PRS-300: My Very First eReader

2011 Sony PRS-T1: My Second eReader

2016 Kobo Aura Edition 2: My Third and Current eReader

With all the many different brands of E Ink eReaders out in the market today, I chose to purchase the Kobo Aura Edition 2 instead of the better ranked Kobo Aura One and instead of the more popular Amazon Paperwhite because if an Indie Bookseller has a partnership with Kobo (like they have a Kobo affiliate link on their website), I can still support them by buying eBooks thru their special affiliate links and they will in turn, get a percentage of the sale. On top of that, I like how Kobo gamified the reading experience by having awards and badges for every milestone like Scout Leader award or Highly Decorated award or Deep Thinker award or Night Rider award or Fanatic award or the Papillon award or Total Recall award or the Juggernaut award or Page Turner award, etc., etc. Earning those reading badges is really fun. I still have a handful of badges to earn: Deep Thinker, Papillon, Witching Hour, Lost In Austen, Off The Wall, Quoth The Maven, and Author-ized Reader.

On the crafty side of things, for about 2 years now, a nagging thought has been telling me that I need to focus on one type of craft to be successful at making a living out of it but lately, a few months after reading the last Julia Cameron book from the library, I came to the realization that I don't need to give up any of the crafty things that I love to do in order to turn it into a business (like choosing between writing, crochet, watercolor painting or piano playing). I mean, look at Julia Cameron. She's into a lot of creative endeavors and she's managed to turn them all into something profitable that is part of her creative living. With that freeing thought, I've updated my blog's name from Booktalk 'n More to Ambidextrous Crafter because I want to focus my patterns to specialize in using both dominant and non-dominant hand and because I myself am ambidextrous. It feels like I've completely outgrown my blog's original name ever since I've fully embraced my ambidextrous nature and accepted the fact that a year for me consists of crafty seasons: I'm more crafty in the areas of writing books, playing music and crochet during the Fall - Winter seasons and then for the rest of the year, I'd rather read, bake, play music and crochet. So, with the new blog name, I've updated my blog's logo and my Ravelry store name to Ambidextrous Crafter as well. I've also uploaded PDF versions of my patterns to Ravelry (you can still find the patterns on my blog with the Ravelry download links on it) before I add my almost ready Ambi Crochet Blanket pattern. I'm really excited to share this blanket pattern with you all because it's really very pretty and I'm proud of how it turned out. I worked really hard on it to make sure the instructions are clear and I hope crocheters will love the construction technique.

Books I've Read Since Last Blog Post

Currently Reading 

Currently Writing

  • No progress made on Chapter 4 of Helena and the Dragon - too much reading going on.

Finished Objects

  • Ambi Crochet Blanket

  • Anna Estella Mae's Baby Blanket - I used the same pattern as well as 3 of the same yarn colors I used for the Ambi Crochet Blanket.

Currently Crocheting

  • Elizabeth Bennet Meets Mr. Darcy Shawl - I'm currently participating in my first ever Crochet along (CAL) called Summer of Romance CAL (#SRCAL) hosted by the lovely ladies Claudia of the CrochetLuna podcast and Clarisabeth of the CrochetCakes podcast. I'm using the beautiful Virus Shawl meets Deichspielerei pattern by Angie Nelson of Bumbly Designs because the lacey sections reminds me of Lizzie's playfulness & femininity and the dc sections reminds me of Darcy's serious nature & masculinity. The yarn I'm using is Ella Rae Lace Merino Extrafine Superwash 100% Merino Wool in the 151 Peach/Deep Pink colorway because the color reminds me of their passionate relationship from the first moment they met to Darcy's declaration of love to finally Lizzie admitting to her dear father how she's so very much in love with Mr. Darcy. 

Virus Shawl Meets Deichspielerei Pattern by Angie Nelson

Ella Rae Lace Merino Extrafine Superwash Merino Wool Yarn

Product Reviews

My 2016 Kobo Aura Edition 2 eReader


Just in case, I would like to share the blogs and/or podcasts I'm really enjoying which are also listed on the side bar...and these are in the order I discovered them...hope you'll enjoy them too!

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