a Springtime reading update


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I’ve been doing that terrible thing I do where I read several books at once and take forever to finish any of them because I’m constantly switching between stories. At the moment, I’m having an affair with…

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Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

This epic tome of epic proportions is a spinoff of The Last of the Mohicans, though you don’t need to be familiar with the history of Hawkeye to appreciate this novel. It follows the life and times of Elizabeth Middleton, who arrives in New York from England to settle on her father’s estate, known as Paradise. She soon learns that her father has more planned for her than she realized when agreeing to join him and her brother in Paradise, but Mr. Middleton’s plans are foiled when Elizabeth meets Nathaniel Bonner, Hawkeye’s son who lives between two worlds. The novel is part love story, part adventure, and filled with historical detail and interesting characters.

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

I actually finished this one! I downloaded Keeping the Castle while testing my library’s new 3m Cloud subscription (for which I was responsible and was dying to test it out before leaving), so it was really a random choice but a wonderful read nonetheless. The blurb on the digital copy likens it to I Capture the Castle, but while it has a similar theme (teen girl lives in a castle with her mad family), I would say that the similarities end there. Keeping the Castle is more Regency farce than coming of age novel. It’s a fun read for any Jane Austen fan, but the narrative bears more resemblance to the comedy in Bridget Jones than Dodie Smith’s classic.

Tanamera by Neol Barber

I only just started reading this one a few days ago and haven’t been able to make much headway yet, but it offers a fascinating account of life in Singapore in the early 20th century. I read it’s supposed to be loosely based on a true story, but don’t know enough about the history to comment on that. It reminds me a bit of Gone with the Wind, especially the account of privilege, balls, and life on the rubber plantations.

VB6 by Mark Bittman

I enjoy the occasional book about food and lifestyle, and VB6 intrigued me from the moment I first saw it for sale at Target. I finally got around to picking it up from my library and have been reading it in the mornings. I was curious to read his take on eating vegan before dinner, since this is something that I’ve been doing for a few years and have found it to be really effective for keeping my own health issues in check.

 

In my mailbox – Mistakes I made at work

Received an ARC of this collection of stories about learning from failure and am loving it already.

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February reading wrap-up

Finally finished A Dance with Dragons, the only TBR book I’ve managed to read from my personal collection… Oh well, the year is young and my ROOT challenge entry is modest. Suffice it to say, Dragons left me torn and shaken with a hefty side of withdrawal.

Have mostly been reading books on writing lately. Among these, Stephen King’s On Writing may be my favorite, but James Scott Bell’s Revision and Self-editing for Publication is the most useful. Both are great reads and sources of writerly inspiration.

Next up… The Cuckoo’s Calling (after about 300 holds, it finally arrived at my library 🙂 ).

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It’s a weakness…

So I checked out a book… It was a hold request, it would be wrong of me not to pick it up… Right? Yes, I think so. Good. All agreed.

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Some of the best books I’ve read lately

A quick round-up of some of the best books I’ve read in the past month… I’ve been speed-reading my way through my collection as I balance work, life, and writing. Can’t help myself.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Is pretty much perfect. In some ways, it reminds me of Atonement and Possession (two of my all-time favorite novels), with a heaping dose of string theory-ish, multiverse what-iffery thrown in for good measure. Ursula’s many lives are full of joy, frustration, heartache, danger, and a constant sense that any second, everything will change. I really enjoyed Atkinson’s writing and look forward to reading her other works in future.

Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher

The Dark Lord cometh! Doescher’s Shakespearean-inspired rendition of A New Hope is so well done, it completely rekindled my love of Star Wars. A great, quick read for anyone who loves Star Wars, Shakespeare, or both. (I am currently immersed in this play at work… we picked it for our campus read and it’s all Star Wars all the time for me at the moment.)

The Mysterious Madam Morpho by Delilah S. Dawson

A novella, oh my. I try to change up my reading every so often, which means that I’m trying to make a concerted effort to read outside my usual genres and styles. Novellas and short stories are among those styles that I generally avoid because they often leave me wanting more… The Mysterious Madam Morpho is just such a one. I’ve read several AU London steampunk fics, but Dawson’s world filled with bluds and carnivalleros is unlike any of the others I’ve read. This is a well-crafted story with fully realized characters and wonderfully realistic sexy bits (I do love me some realistic relationships where both partners are equals). The best part is that it’s a series! No sense of loss at the end of a great short.

Fall reading starts now

And now for something completely different…

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It’s been a while since I read some real sci-fi, but one of my work buddies recommended this one a while ago, and Heinlein was all over Jo Walton’s Among Others, so I took it as a sign.

Summer Reading, part 4

Summer is very nearly over. Just a few more weeks and students will be back and it will feel like all work and no play once again. I’ve managed to read (or try to read) most of the books on my self-appointed summer reading list, with the exception of the Kate Locke book… I’ve been distracted by library holds that arrived all at once. I’ll try to get to it before the summer ends.

My latest read was Among Others by Jo Walton, a story about magic, ethics, sci-fi, and growing up. It’s one of those books that starts slow but then sucks you in and doesn’t let go even after you’ve finished. I stayed up reading this one (and I’m a strict 8 hour sort of girl, I don’t stay up for any old book).

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Of course, despite my best effort to be a responsible book keeper, I’ve gone out and acquired more books… It can’t be helped. I’ve been wanting to read these for ages and they were autographed, so I gave in.

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I really only went to the shop for the pins… Talk about impulse buys.

there will be books!

Seriously. I promise. I’m reading way too many at a time as it is. I’ll post soon(ish).

But, for now, I’m planning the summer reads because summer is the best time to read like mad and stay out of the dreadful heat.

Some of my picks…

  • I will finish A Clash of Kings.
  • I’ll re-read The Great Gatsby
  • I’ll finally get to Elizabeth George’s The Edge of Nowhere (received it for review ages ago)
  • And read Cassandra Clare’s A Clockwork Princess, Gail Carriger’s Espionage & Etiquette and Kate Locke’s The Queen is Dead.
  • Also, I will check out Jo Walton’s Among Others from the library’s display.

I think I’m aiming too far here…