Bookish Blerd

I'm a book buying junkie who buys books faster than I can read them. But what better way is there to live than surrounded by books?! I read as much as I can and I do my best to give coherent reviews...which doesn't always happen.  I enjoy many genres, which is likely the reason I struggle with deciding my next read.

Review: The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson, Bernadette Dunne

This was creepy and scary without gore or jump scares.  It was almost more psychological because there was never a solid presence or any one thing to fear like in a slasher film/book.  It's like going into a dark basement alone at night.  Logically you know there is nothing there that can harm you, but you still get the wiggins.  It's the not knowing that freaks you out because your imagination can conjure much worse things than what's actually hiding in the shadows.

 

Clearly there was a presence haunting the house and it tormented Doctor Montague and his group of young assistants--to a bad end for poor Eleanor.  The house seemed to be an entity itself and it sucked Eleanor in--bewitched her.  

 

Very well written, interesting characters.  I have to assume that the author meant for readers to hate Mrs. Montague, because she was just a nightmare.  I wanted bad things to happen to her in the house.  With the other characters [Doctor Montague, Theodora, Luke, Eleanor] you could see both their endearing, and annoying qualities.  And overall enjoyable listen.  

Reading progress update: I've listened 367 out of 447 minutes.

The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson, Bernadette Dunne

Oh my good gravy Mrs. Montague is a real c u next tuesday!  She's just awful.

Review: Lullaby

Lullaby - Jonathan Maberry, Scott Brick

So. So. Creepy.  I am very, very happy that my children are not babies.  Also, glad I'm smart enough not to ever entertain the idea of buying a house that is haunted.  

 

This was a short, but entertaining audiobook.  Interesting story and more creepy than scary.  Will definitely check out more by the author.

Review: Ajax Penumbra 1969

Ajax Penumbra 1969 - Robin Sloan

This was a cute little adventure and some backstory into Ajax Penumbra.  In this we learn of Penumbra's origins, how he came to be in San Francisco, became a member of a secret book society, and came to own the 24-hour books store.  It was an enjoyable short story.

Review: The Child Thief

The Child Thief - Brom

There are a whole host of mythologies and faerie tales at play here.  My first thought was that this was a dark retelling of Peter Pan, which is not all that far off the mark.  This is a twisted gory ode to Peter Pan and Avalon and other faerie stories.  If you really think about Peter Pan, even the Disney version, he's basically I child predator--a kidnapper.  Then if you think on the original, non-watered down version, Peter is pretty cruel, he kidnaps children and sends them to war against his enemies.  His lost boys are frequently killed in battle, or put out to pasture if they begin to "grow up".  That's really messed up!

 

All that being said, Peter, is a child thief who tricks runaways, or kids from bad situations into following him into the mists of Avalon.  And if they manage to make it through the mist, they're trained as soldiers in his personal army.  Everything Peter does is for the Lady Modron and to protect Avalon, but it all comes at a cost.  The child thief has lead countless children to the deaths.  

 

This story had loads of deaths, battles, magic and just general craziness.  All-in-all I really enjoyed it.

Reading progress update: I've read 199 out of 481 pages.

The Child Thief - Brom

Not at all what I expected, but very interesting! 

Aggravating Work Update

So I have an actual schedule, and codes for the register--it only took a month to get those.  But after being adamant about hating it during my first stint, and being adamant about hating it now, I have worked the customer service desk every day I've worked this week.

 

Customer services is easily a three-person job.  I'm alone.  With only 10% training.  And supervisors who see me working with customers, but won't answer the phones when they're at the desk and calls are coming in like crazy.  Like really?  You don't want me on the phone when I'm working with customers face-to-face, but I'm also not allowed to leave the phone ringing.  And they wonder why people keep quitting. *sigh*  Because they keep putting untrained people in the customer service box without any help.  It's overwhelming!  I am by no means stupid or lazy, but if you don't train me to do a job, how the hell do you expect me to do it and do it with a pleasant smile?!  I will be a very not-so friendly face at the desk, and we'll see how that works out.

 

The phone system is a mess.  I barely know how to work it because I wasn't taught.  I don't know half the people who work there, or their titles, so I'm constantly having to ask who's who when people call looking for specific staff.  I didn't work there all that long the first time, and I have to constantly remind supervisors that I don't know most things as I hadn't work there long, and the time I did work I was only taught the registers.  I don't know the majority of what we sell or which department to call for certain items.  The supervisors are always busy and are almost attitudey because I need help.  Which I keep reminding, I wasn't there long the first time, AND it's been a year so there's a lot I wouldn't remember anyway.

 

But there are a few cashiers that started after I left who can commiserate and are very sweet and supportive of me.  Today all of the normal supervisors weren't there and they had to call someone from the hard-side department to work the front-end.  He was the best.  He was very patient and composed.  And he actually answered the phones when I was dealing with customers.  I have no idea why that's so hard for other supervisors, when he did it without hesitation.  Goodness gracious I wish he was front-end all the time as it seems that there is no end to me being in customer service.

 

And I hate to be a complainer, but it would be more bearable if they actually had one other person (non-supervisor) to help with phones and taking returns and doing damages for used/broke items.  There should be three, but it would run more smoothly with two at least.  And maybe a little actual training would be great.  But that won't happen because people always quit because...LACK OF TRAINING!!!  But I am trying to stay positive, because the pay is pretty good for retail, and the discount/incentives are nice, and there are enough nice co-workers to make the days bearable.  If I can get past the ache in my legs and feet these first few weeks, I think I'll probably stay.  But...Black Friday is fast approaching, so who knows.  And the witch that got on my bad side the first time I worked there is still there and everyone still hates her, so again, we'll see how it goes.  I'm trying to let things roll off my back and maintain a "no fucks to give" attitude.  I'll update in the weeks to come.  Thanks for taking the ride with me.

Need To Vent...

Not even gonna get into the never-ending family drama with my hubby and his family.  Even though it reared it's ugly head this morning. *sigh*  I started back to work at the retail job I had before my foot surgery last year and the more things change, the more they stay the same.

 

So they've changed their hiring system as well as their systems and programs for inside the store.  HR and log-in and all the crap are completely different now.  Worse.  The system has so many bugs that need fixing, not to mention the fact that the adminstrative staff were not actually trained on how to use the system to be able to teach the other staff.  And some of the same it's-not-my-problem-pass-the-buck staffers are still there in positions where passing the buck is detrimental to all the staff.

 

Long story long, my hire info was incomplete and therefore I was not added to the system--the system's fault not mine.  Then I had to call several times to see when I would actually be getting my training.  To which the person in charge of the schedule passed-the-buck and asked why no one else gave me a schedule.  *sigh*  So she verbally tells me to come in on two specific days to "shadow" others, because I'm still not in the system and have no ID numbers and have not had training on their new register system.  They put me at customer service, which had twice prior nearly caused me to quit on the spot (because being at customer service when you've had zero training is enough to make people go mad.)  But no biggieb I'll just be standing around watching, right?  Wrong.  They have me ringing under other people's IDs so I can get a feel for it.  Get a feel for something I have yet to be trained how to use.  *sigh*

 

 

The next week shcheduler calls me out of the blue to see if I can come in for a little bit while they attempt to get me into the system.  It was so inconvenient, but I did it to try and expedite the process so I can get trained and start actual shifts.  We get it mostly figured out and I learn that this has been an ongoing issue for every new employee at EVERY store.  So thank Earnhardt it was not just me!  Then I have to wait until later in the week to, again verbally be told when to come for training.

 

Training is a joke.  They are so disorganized that they cannot find the proper training materials, which was supposed to left for the trainer by the scheduler.  No dice.  So the "trainer" (I used that term very loosely) goes old school and pulls out huge ass binders and basically has us follow the directions on the pages and train ourselves while she gossips with other staff.  Myself and the one other new employee find out that the other two people who were hired with us have ALREADY QUIT!!  This should have been another of many indicators that it was probably a mistake going back to this place.  So training was a slow, boring nightmare where I don't feel I learned anything and that when I am finally working, I will have to figure shit out on my own...just like last time.

 

Now we still have no work IDs and cannot log into registers to work or the time clock.  We're still signing in and out of a book in the office.  We have yet to set up our direct deposit, we haven't been taught to use whatever system they are using for checking schedules, requesting days, off, etc.  I don't even know what system they are using for these things let alone how to access or utilize it.  For the past three weeks I have been verbally given my schedule.

 

I was not told when I was working this week and like a dummy, I assumed they would verbally let me know, especially since I have no register ID and cannot really work without one.  So not moments after I thought, I need to call and find out what's the hold-up with my schedule, does the job call.  So I'm like, "Cool, they must have figured out my ID and therefore have a schedule for me."

 

Nope.

 

Today is apparently my third missed day.  No one told me I had been added to the schedule.  Which I explained to the scheduler.  I apologized, even though it's not on me, but explained that since there was such an issue with the system AND the fact that I have been given my schedule directly from her verbally, that I was unaware that I had been automatically added to the digital/print schedule.  And quite frankly if I missed Monday, why didn't you call on Monday to find out why I no call/no showed?!  So even though I know this is not on me, I feel like it is.  And I know I should not stress over it, but I am.

 

I haven't been fired or anything, and I've been told to call tomorrow for next week's schedule, but now I feel like the asshole, even though there's no way I could have known that I was put on the schedule after being verbally given my schedule for three weeks straight. Ugh! I'm so aggravated and today of all days! I love Halloween, but I feel like my day will be less fun because this will be in the back of my head for a long time.  And I've been having a bad couple of weeks, which is probably why I didn't make an extra effort to find out what the hold-up with my schedule was.  And now all I'll think about is that I should have called sooner. UGH!! 

 

I should quit after this fiasco, but they catered to my schedule needs and other than a lack of administrative guidance, it's easy money.  This is what capitalism does to us. We work at places that make us insane because we like having things like a roof over our heads and food.

 

Thanks for "listening" I'm going to try very hard to salvage my semi good mood.  Happy Halloween!

Reading progress update: I've read 21 out of 481 pages.

The Child Thief - Brom

Wow, this escalated from the first paragraph!

Reading progress update: I've read 31 out of 640 pages.

Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within - George R.R. Martin, H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman, Tessa Gratton, Bentley Little, Zak Jarvis, Violet Glaze, Peter Giglio, Mercedes M. Yardley, Dieter Meyer, Scott Bradley, Brad C. Hodson, Nicole Cushing, Alice Henderson, Alethea Kontis, Steve Duffy, Maxwell Hart, Richard Ch

Completed "The Other Side" which was equally as weird and creepy as "The Company of Wolves".

Reading progress update: I've read 17 out of 640 pages.

Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within - George R.R. Martin, H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman, Tessa Gratton, Bentley Little, Zak Jarvis, Violet Glaze, Peter Giglio, Mercedes M. Yardley, Dieter Meyer, Scott Bradley, Brad C. Hodson, Nicole Cushing, Alice Henderson, Alethea Kontis, Steve Duffy, Maxwell Hart, Richard Ch

 

I completed "The Company of Wolves" which was just as creepy and bizarre as the movie based off this story.

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon: Closing Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Right around 2 or 3am; I was into my book, but my eyes started burning so I had to nap.
2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read! Heart-Shaped Box and Day By Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile
3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners? Both books I read were fantastic.
4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you happy? I don't know the readathon is already pretty rad
5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Definitely! Would you be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep? Honestly I'd love to; however, I don't think I could be reliable.

2018 Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon [October]: Hours 21-24

That's the end!  I managed to finish my second book with 15 minutes to spare, go me!

 

I had an excellent readthon and hope everyone else did too.  After some much needed sleep I will do a wrap-up post and officially log my reading stats.

Sleep well and until next readathon, happy reading!

SPOILER ALERT!

Review: Day By Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile

Day by Day Armageddon: Origin to Exile - J.L. Bourne

This was an amazing follow-up to "Armageddon"!  Our protagonist and group survive the incursion of hostiles, regroup and keep on keeping on.  They do more reconnaissance and perform a fee rescue, one of which involves military personnel.  This eventually leads to our protagonist returning to active military service and becoming the ranking officer on the ground, which put him in charge of many soldiers and civilians.  There is a small contingent of military (on destroyer ships) still active and trying to do what they can to protect the remaining living and take out the threat of the dead.

 

After a search mission gone bad, our protagonist is separated from the group, on his own, injured and on foot, hundreds of miles from home.  It's a harrowing experience and he almost dies several times.  Then his luck changes and he gets help from an unknown group, with experimental tech.  He picks up an ally along the way, and they work together to get back to safety. 

 

He makes it back to the bunker after being gone for 45 days.  Once back and rested they learn that the group that 'helped' him get back home, had ulterior motives, and the bunker comes under siege.  They are able to escape and get evacuated to the war ships.  There we learn that they are planning a mission to China to retrieve patient zero--because of course it always starts in China!  And this all started because scientists found a non terrestrial vessel in a block of ice and just had to investigate it.  They didn't follow protocol, this the outbreak of an unknown disease that brings the dead back. *sigh*  That explanation was unexpected, but not necessarily a bad one.  At least this series gives an actual explanation as to where this outbreak came from.  Now our protagonist is commissioned to the mission to find patient zero and perhaps a cure, or vaccine.  Can't wait to see what happens next!

2018 Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon [October]: Hours 17-20

So my books is getting so, so good and then I discover my poor pup has an ear infection.  I took a break to care for him.

I got back to my book, which is seriously heating up and then my eyes get droopy.

I got to a good point to pause and took a nap, which lasted an hour longer than planned.

...but, I did wake up with enough time left to finish the book, which has been partially wasted on creating this update.

Happy reading everyone!

2018 Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon [October]: Hours 13-16

I think I missed an update and I'm thinking a nap is in order.  I'm really into this book but I'm starting to feel headachey.  Think I should definitely nap.  Earlier the interruptions and distractions didn't bother me, no every time the kids come to my room I get slightly more irritated.  I mean, they know the deal with readathon days, so why are they acting new?!

My iPod is on shuffle and it's killing it!  I have a great background soundtrack and my books is getting more intense.  Nap or keep reading?  Nap or keep reading?

what to do

Currently reading

A Ruin Of Shadows
Lewis Carroll
Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within
George R.R. Martin, H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman, Tessa Gratton, Bentley Little, Zak Jarvis, Violet Glaze, Peter Giglio, Mercedes M. Yardley, Dieter Meyer, Scott Bradley, Brad C. Hodson, Nicole Cushing, Alice Henderson, Alethea Kontis, Steve Duffy, Maxwell Hart, Richard Ch
Progress: 31/640 pages
A Christmas Cornucopia: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Yuletide Traditions
Mark Forsyth
Twice Bitten
Crystal Green, Erica Orloff
Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1)
Patrick O'Brian