Book Review: A Man Called Ove

Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrick Backman
Genre: Literary Fiction
Year Published: May 5, 2015

Date finished: December 29, 2020

A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Bachman is a story about a 59-year-old man who’s done with life after his wife died and after he was replaced at his job. He comes across extremely grumpy. He’s irritated by strangers and the neighbor who keeps coming to his house asking for help. He attempts suicide multiple times, but his neighbor always shows up at the right time. At first, it’s hard to like him because he’s pretty grouchy and rude. However, there’s a reason for it. The backstory is interwoven throughout the story to create a character that’s understandable, relatable, and likeable.

I enjoyed this book. Sometimes, no matter what you do, life is just not fair. That’s Ove’s life. He just wasn’t blessed with a lot of luck and happiness and he still turned out to have a big heart.

Who should read this: Anyone searching for meaning in life, wondering about their own life, or just want to enjoy a book about love, friendship, and lessons.

February 2021 Playlist

February was a fast month. I felt very productive though. Was able to get the sci-fi novella ready to publish in March. It was a lot of work, but it was worth all the researching and learning.

I finished watching Bridgerton a few days ago. Initially, I had avoided it because there was too much hype around this Netflix show. I then learned that it was a book series by Julia Quinn and that piqued my interest. I started to debate as to whether I should read the books first or watch the show. I currently have a long list of TBRs and husband and I were running out of things to watch so I figured I’d wait on the books and watch the show. I’m glad I made that choice. Bridgerton was so good! I fell in love with the scene where Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Hastings had their first dance. It was the music that captured my heart. I should admit, Eloise (Daphne’s younger sister), was an interesting character. She caught my attention as well. I can’t wait to see where they take her in the next season.

This was the scene that got me 100% invested. At 1:05 is when the dancing starts and that beautiful music. Anyway, if you haven’t seen the show, this is the scene when Daphne and Simon are pretending to be in love to prove to Nigel (the older man watching them) that her relationship with Simon is real. Daphne’s brother (in the clip, he’s the one that goes off with Lady Danbury) had tried to marry her off to Nigel but she didn’t want to marry him. While they were dancing, you can tell that they were starting to really like each other.

Here are the other songs I listened to this month:

“Love Again” by Avaion

“Better Off Lonely” by Nurko

“Angel” by Massive Attack

“Ten Thousand Times Before” by Twelve Titans

“Chamber” by Songs To Your Eyes

Book Review: Star Trek Voyager: Full Circle

Title: Star Trek Voyager: Full Circle
Author: Kirsten Beyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Year Published: March 31, 2009

Star Trek Voyager: Full Circle by Kirsten Beyer is a science fiction novel based on the television show Star Trek: Voyager. It continues the story after the last episode of the show.

In this book, the main plot surrounds B’Ellana Torres, Commander Paris, and their baby daughter, Miral. There is a subplot on Admiral Janeway and Captain Chakotay’s relationship that plays an important part in the story. There is also a sprinkling of story on the main crew just to remind us that this was the Voyager crew.

I enjoyed this read. It was fast paced and ended too quickly. I would have loved more story on Seven of Nine and Tuvok.

Spirit & Opportunity

I just finished watching “Expedition Mars: Spirit & Opportunity” on Disney+ and I gotta say, I was overwhelmed, sad, and happy. The rovers seemed so human that when they died, it felt like I lost a friend. Anyway, I’m happy to say, NASA has sent out another rover that should touchdown on Mars this Thursday (February 18th). This one is going to join the one currently on Mars named, Curiosity. It’s going to be exciting!

Made a scrapbook layout of Spirit and Opportunity. The images and text are from NASA’s website. The template is by digital scrapbooker, Shannan. I’ve made adjustments to the template.

January 2021 Playlist

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since the 2nd of this month. My Instagram is also suffering. I guess I’m going through a phase trying to figure out what’s important in my life right now. I’ve got two books I need to review from December and I have a book I had planned to publish in December too, but because I wanted to get it copyrighted, I wasn’t able to publish. It took a month to get the copyright certificate, which was around the first week of this month. Then, I had to decide if I wanted to get it into the Library of Congress and also if I wanted to purchase only one or two ISBNs or 50. I’ve been struggling with plunking down the money for 50 but I think it would be a better deal than to buy one or two.

I’ve also been thinking about future finances. I’ve got a few debts I need to pay off and then I really want to hit hard putting money away for retirement. Nobody tells you this but when you have kids, putting money away for retirement takes a back seat. The kids always come first. Speaking of kids, my youngest will be going to high school next fall and I think that’s hitting me hard. It could also be why I’m finding it so hard to blog and write and do every day things.

Here’s my playlist for January:

“Prism of Life” by Enigma

“Why!” by Enigma

“Looking Through Patient Eyes” by PM Dawn. The lyrics are crazy amazing. Nobody writes lyrics like this anymore.

“Million Miles” by Angelina Jordan

“Sleepwalker” by Qveen Herby. I have to be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Karmin (the name of the group before they switched labels and went with a solo name) back when they first became big. But I love the style of Qveen Herby!

December Playlist

Hope you all had a happy new year. I had purchased a Huion Kanvas 13 graphic tablet in mid-December to replace my old Wacom Intuos Pro, but after a few days of it working perfectly, it stopped working correctly. I was getting ready to create a “December Playlist” image and the pen cursor and the pen were not aligning. I tried everything under the moon to fix the problem, but nothing worked. I ended up returning the thing and got a Wacom One, which was a lot more expensive than the Huion. It wasn’t all quick and easy to setup either with the Wacom. The tablet required a USB-C to HDMI adapter. For some reason my iMac doesn’t like generic or other brands of adapters. I tried one that was $35 (these adapters range from $15 and up) and because it didn’t work, ended up paying $70 for an Apple one that worked.

I’ve read quite a few reviews on the Wacom One having issues. I just hope mine isn’t one of them. This was what my mind was occupied with in the last few days so my new year felt like an extension of 2020. You know, like one big mess. Anyway, here are my favorite songs of December.

Before You Go – Lewis Capaldi on The Voice (I love the song and his voice, but check out the piano guy. Isn’t he just amazing?)

Only Love Can Hurt Like This – Paloma Faith

Restless – Maddy Hartson

I Hope – Gabby Barrett

Book Review: The Lost Queen

Title: The Lost Queen
Author: Signe Pike
Genre: Fantasy
Year Published: 2018

The Lost Queen by Signe Pike is a novel written through the eyes of Languoreth, the daughter of Morken, a high chieftain in the Kingdom of Strathclyde. We follow Languoreth from ten-years-old until her mid-thirties.

The story takes place in 550 AD (6th century) in what is now Scotland. It is basically a different version and angle of the legend of King Arthur (Uther Pendragon). The focus isn’t on the legend that we are familiar with, instead it is about the family who took in the young Uther. In the book Uther is known as Gwenddolau and we only get glimpses of him. The focus is on Languoreth and her struggle between desperately wanting to help her brother, Lailoken (who is a warrior as well as the spiritual advisor to Gwenddalau out in the Borderlands), and her family in Strathclyde.

I found the first half of the story a little slow. It didn’t pick up until halfway, but when it did pick up, it was amazing. I loved it. I’m a die-hard King Arthur/Merlin fan and anything having to do with this legend, I pretty much eat it up. I really enjoyed this angle from a queen who played a huge part in the lives of those warriors.

To me, Languoreth is a little bit of Catelyn Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire and Aelswith from The Last Kingdom. What makes her different is that she’s not so strong mentally when it comes to relationships. She has a hard time letting go. She has this ideal image of what love is and for some reason it creates unnecessary conflict. I can’t relate to her in that sense, but I do love her character.

The book is well written with flowy and beautifully orchestrated words. It’s like a magical piece of artwork. It’s just brilliant.