Review: Before the Leap (Liz Isaacson)

before-the-leap-coverStarting a new series by a favourite author is like embarking on a new adventure with an old friend – you know that whatever’s up ahead, you’re going to have fun together. That’s what it was like reading Book One of the Gold Valley Romance series. As always, Liz brings two great characters together for a journey that’s a pleasure to read. And I’m impatient to get back to Gold Valley for the next tale…

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Currently reading, mid-January

girl-reading-painting

This time I’ll organise my various reading material into different categories than I usually do. And this is in addition to assigned reading material for school ’cause I gotta read for both fun and education!

Fiction for review: Rescue Me (Susan May Warren)

Non-fiction for review: Killing Us Softly (Efrem Smith)

French: 101 Dalmatiens (translation of the novelisation of the original Disney movie)

Just borrowed from the library: Full Disclosure (Dee Henderson), Flywheel (movie novelisation)

I’ve got lots of good reading ahead of me! 🙂

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Review: Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley (novella collection)

romance-arcadia-coverThis is such a great purchase! Novellas from several writers, all set in the same fictional town where good food and lots of fun are abundant! I came to Arcadia Valley for Valerie Comer’s Sow in Love, but I stayed because I love the town and its citizens.

Each story introduced different main characters while including familiar names and faces from the other stories. And each novella kicks off the author’s own series of novels set in Arcadia Valley. What a great concept for this writing project! I’m excited for the eighteen novels (one each month for the next year and a half) that will result from this project!

I don’t think I could pick a favourite from these stories, they all work so well together. They made me want to stay in Arcadia Valley forever!

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Becca’s Best: Christmas music (again)

charliebrownchristmasThree more CDs to check out today!

I have enjoyed Jewel’s Joy: A Holiday Collection for at least a few years. So many of my favourite carols are included, and she has such a good voice! I love singing along to this CD.

One that I didn’t fully appreciate until this year, strangely, is Jars of Clay’s Christmas Songs. It’s my new favourite, pleasant to listen to and again including many carols I like. (I’m less of a modern Christmas song person, definitely a huge fan of the old carols.)

And even if you don’t know much about Peanuts, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a must-listen (and must-see as well). Love it, and not just because it includes Fur Elise!

Happy listening!

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Microsoft, I smell a dirty rat!

cute-rat-maxresdefaultMicrosoft, it’s time we had a little talk. Let me set this up with a little story about something that happened to me this morning:

I could not use your default photo app today in Windows 10. I wanted to print photos, and the program worked for only two photos before it quit instead of bringing up the print dialog. I decided to search for options, and instead of going through a convoluted process to restore the Windows Photo Viewer I liked in Windows 7 – shame on you for replacing it with its poor cousin, the Photos app – I decided to install an entirely different photo viewing program.

When I installed said program, I chose to change default app settings for multiple file types, through the install window. I was not happy to see that Windows 10 decided to change those settings back without giving me a confirmation box to see what I preferred. Instead, I received notifications that Windows 10 had restored the settings to Windows programs.

I know, I know, you’re going to say that if spyware or malware changed my defaults without my permission, it’s in my best interest for Windows 10 to keep track and protect me from this nasty software. However, your argument fails to take into account that sometimes I will want to change settings, and I don’t appreciate Windows 10 getting in my way and forcing me to change those settings twice to be sure they’re the way I want them. (I encountered something similar in Windows 7 when Windows updates would suddenly have also changed some of my customised settings without confirming if I wanted that. Then I’d have to go back and fix them to my liking.)

Enough with the power struggle, Microsoft. Give the people what they want and need: more control over their own machines. You may own Windows 10, but you don’t have the right to tell its users how to set up their installations. I may just want to go back to using Linux primarily if you keep up this silly stuff!

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Becca’s Best: Christmas movies

white-christmasHere I am at it again. Christmas is great material for my blog, don’t you know? 🙂

I’m watching “White Christmas” right now. This is a must-see every year. I think I first saw this show when I was a teen, and it stuck with me. There’s something about all the music, dancing, matchmaking and romance… Can’t resist it, and it’s still a lot of fun every single time!

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Becca’s Best: Christmas Music

mouskouriLet’s start this category, for which I’m sure I could give a whole lot of opinions, with the recording I’m listening to right now. My dad made digital recordings of many of his LPs, and made me a CD of Nana Mouskouri’s Christmas. 😀 (I actually have this LP from my Uncle George’s collection, but my turntable came to me later and it isn’t used as often as it could be. Maybe Christmas is the time to change that!)

My family’s favourite track is #9, Old Toy Trains. I have been known to place it at the end of several Christmas CDs I made, so that it can easily be found for the tradition of playing it at bedtime on Dec. 24th. 🙂 (My boys can’t use the same stalling excuse that my sisters and I did that the song talks to a boy about going to bed and therefore it isn’t bedtime yet…)

If you haven’t heard Nana sing, I’d encourage you to try “In an English Country Garden” or “Old Toy Trains” as an introduction!

Merry three-weeks-until-Christmas!

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