1. Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews
  2. Ocean Light by Nalini Singh
  3. Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead
  4. My Own True Duchess by Grace Burrowes
  5. Brief Cases by Jim Butcher

Approximately eight years ago, I bought a Barnes & Noble Nook 1st edition, 2nd generation.

Well, after eight years of quite heavy usage, surviving a flood, several trans-oceanic flights, and god-knows-how many times I’ve dropped it, my trusty old Nook is finally on its last legs. It doesn’t sync or charge properly, most likely because I’ve fell asleep while reading and dropped it while it was connected to a wall charger.

Given all that, I’ve been recently thinking about upgrading to a newer version of the e-ink Nook, or *gasp* switching to Kindle.

Lucky for me, Barnes & Noble just sent me an email a couple days ago saying that they’re going to discontinue support for the 1st edition Nook this summer, and they’re giving me a special 50% discount code for the newest Nook for me being a longtime customer.  If that’s not a good deal, I don’t know what is.

I’m off to order my new Nook; hopefully this one lasts eight years as well.

raine benares novels

So I plowed right through the current 9 Raine Benares novels by Lisa Shearin in about 3 days. I was stressed out, and my way of relaxing usually involves burying my head in fantasy worlds for several days.

Anyway, these nine novels are:

  1. Magic Lost, Trouble Found
  2. Armed & Magical
  3. The Trouble with Demons
  4. Bewitched and Betrayed
  5. Con and Conjure
  6. All Spell Breaks Loose
  7. Wedding Bells, Magic Spells
  8. Treasure and Treason
  9. Ruins and Revenge

I’d say the Raine Benares novels are fantasy-lite, in the sense that each novel is about 250-300 pages long. It’s fairly amusing, includes several races, a love triangle, a MacGuffin or two, and does finish at least one story arc in seven books. I did find it interesting that the heroine marries the paladin (literally, that IS his title) instead of the reformed rake… I suppose I’ve read too many romances lately that I was surprised that the heroine went for the straight and narrow. Then again, the paladin didn’t have blond hair, so that’s a plus. I am confused about their world though – they have humans, elves, and goblins, but all three races are mortal. Elves and goblins are distinct from humans because of pointy ears, but goblins have gray skin and fangs. However… elves and goblins also tend to have more magic than humans, so do humans have any advantage in their world? It doesn’t sound like it, and confuses the hell out of me, because otherwise humans shouldn’t exist in their world. Also, all three can apparently crossbreed, as a secondary character is a mixed elf/goblin teenager with ridiculous amounts of power.

Kind of related to hair and eye color – this only works with white people. Every other race has brown hair and brown eyes if they aren’t a product of recent intermixing… It’s a little unfair that no one ever writes poetry or prose about dark brown eyes. I suppose there is prose written about dark jet black hair, but how often is that combined with yellow or brown skin? Usually it’s some pale white girl with blue eyes and dark hair…

Watched Avengers: Infinity War, which I *did* like, and Deadpool 2, which was absolutely horrible. Thank goodness I only paid $5 for the Deadpool 2 movie instead of standard movie ticket price due to a T-Mobile discount.


  • The novella “Bombshells” by Jim Butcher
  • From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh
  • Counting on a Countess by Eva Leigh
  • A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
  • Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
  • A Night Like This by Julia Quinn
  • The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn
  • When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn
  • The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn
  • What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
  • Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

And I think my old Barnes & Noble Nook (2nd generation) is on its last legs. I may have dropped it one too many times and now it won’t sync properly to my computer. It does still charge ok and I can read the books I’ve already side-loaded onto it, but it’s close to living out its usefulness. Then again, I’ve had it for nearly eight years, so that’s a pretty good run.

(Caveat: I’m the type of person that uses and holds onto my electronic equipment for as long as possible, with the exception of my cell phone. My old digital camera, a point and shoot, is 10 years old, and still works albeit losing its image quality. My iPod nano I bought in 2009 and I still use. )


a movie and a few books

Watched Ready Player One. Not bad.  I think the key is to go into movies with super low expectations and not know the background already from the novel. I didn’t  pay full price on the movie ticket – there was a discount – so maybe that’s why.

Have read:

  1. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  2. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
  3. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
  4. His Wicked Charm by Candace Camp
  5. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Finally got around to watching Black Panther (by myself on a Tuesday night, no less). I guess the thing about watching it several weeks after everyone else is that I felt that the movie was overhyped by how much critics and people I know LOVED IT. Did it feel like THE MOVIE OF THE YEAR? Ehh… I mean, it wasn’t a bad movie – it was a pretty good one by all means but I felt like most of the characters felt a little flat… Except for Shuri. She was awesome.

Just finished watching the eight episodes of Ugly Delicious – pretty interesting. One of the main reasons I like it is because I can relate to Dave Chang as a second-gen Asian American immigrant, but identifies more with the Asian side when it comes to food. And the way he talks and acts is pretty normal, not too pretentious.

And of course, I’ve read a whole pile of books since the last time I updated.

  1. Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire
  2. My Once and Future Duke by Caroline Linden
  3. A Rogue of Her Own by Grace Burrowes
  4. A Perfect Gentleman by Candace Camp
  5. A Momentary Marriage by Candace Camp
  6. Mesmerized by Candace Camp
  7. Beyond Compare by Candace Camp
  8. Winterset by Candace Camp
  9. An Unexpected Pleasure by Candace Camp
  10. His Sinful Touch by Candace Camp
  11. The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
  12. To Catch an Heiress by Julia Quinn
  13. How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn
  14. The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
  15. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
  16. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
  17. An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn
  18. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
  19. To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn
  20. It’s In His Kiss by Julia Quinn
  21. On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn

I’m all caught up through Agents of SHIELD Season 5, episode 8.

Season 4 was probably one of the best seasons by far, in terms of plot and storyline. I’ve come to accept that Agents of SHIELD may not have actual obvious ties to the MCU, and it’s a bit more like tangential fanfiction. Still, I love it. Considering that it’s the only show that I’ve watched past season 3, that’s pretty impressive…

Edit: I just re-watched the pilot episode, and man, the actors/actresses were so young! Then again, I’m about the same age as the two that play Fitz and Simmons, so I guess we’re all aging. It’s interesting to see how far the characters have come in terms of personality and plot development.