Friday, 22 August 2014

Reading Friday

I heard back about my application for the Masters course. I got accepted!!! I’m over the moon about it, but I feel like I'm living in a bit of a whirlwind at the moment as I make some big changes to get ready for it.

Some things are constant though, so on to what I'm reading. 

What I finished reading
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews. I was a bit disappointed with this. The pacing felt off in bits, and perhaps it was just because I was reading it on my phone, but the ending felt a touch anti-climactic. It makes sense thinking about it, as there doesn’t seem to be anyway Kate could fight Roland and win, but I’m left wondering if that will really be the end of the matter, and not in an anticipatory way given the authors have suggested this was to be the end of that arc. I’m finding the very end and the set up for the next book in the series a little hard to believe, but I will read the next one to see how it goes. That’s not to say there weren’t good points in the book, there were some scenes I absolutely loved and a lot of character background that I really enjoyed, which made the sense of disappointment more annoying.

Earth Girl and Earth Star by Janet Edwards. I loved these just as much as first time round, possibly even more. I don’t really have anything else coherent to say about them, except that this won’t be my last reread of them.

Magic Study by Maria V Snyder. I spent an enjoyable wet Sunday afternoon curled up with this, and I really liked rereading it.

What I'm reading
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I’m about 90 pages in and so far I think it’s a decent debut, but I’m not really in the mood for high fantasy at the moment so it got pushed to the side a little.

Fire Study by Maria V Snyder. I’m about halfway through my reread, and I’m enjoying it as much as the previous books.

Earth Flight by Janet Edwards. Okay, I’ve only just got a hold of it, but I know what I’ll be doing tonight!

What I'll be reading next
Blood Games by Chloe Neill has just come in for me and that should be good for spending Saturday curled up with tea. Possibly The Crucifix Killer by Chris Carter if I feel in a crime mood.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Reading what ever day of the week it is...

Between applying to go back to university, my wee sister passing all her highers, and my wee brother getting engaged, it's been a whirlwind of a week. A good one, but hectic all the same, and I'm finding it hard to believe it's Sunday night already so let's get on with the reading!

What I've finished reading
I ended up DNFing God's War by Kameron Hurley and Lascar's Dagger by Glenda Larke. Both were well written and full of interesting ideas. In the case of God’s War, it just wasn’t my cup of tea (I really should know by now that anything described as gritty or dark just isn’t for me.) As for Lascar’s Dagger, there was a lot of worldbuilding and character traits that I normally love, but I just couldn’t get into it. I think it was a case of good book, wrong time. I’ll definitely try one of Larke’s other books at some point.

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron. The day Aaron writes something that doesn’t completely hit all my buttons and make me grin in glee is the day hell freezes over. By which I mean I completely loved it, and I cannot wait for the next one. I love the worldbuilding in this but more than that, I love the main two characters to bits, and I could have read about them all day. Plus, the vast majority of supporting characters, good, bad and not entirely sure yet, feel well rounded and appropriately scary in places. Definitely one I’m going to reread, and I'm looking forward to the promised paper edition coming out.

The Hangman's Song and Dead Men's Bones by James Oswald. I raced through both of these this weekend, and I really enjoyed them. I like the mix of crime and supernatural, and the way there could be a rational explanation for all the events but there probably isn't. I like the way the threads and loose ends are running through the series now, and I'm loving the whole cast of characters, even Duguid. Long story short, I like Oswald's writing, he had me laughing a couple of times and these held my interest all the way through, unlike all the other crime novels I've tried recently.  I'll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for the next in the series.

What I'm reading
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews. I'm about a third of the way through it and enjoying it so far. I'm looking forward to reading the ending, but I can definitely agree with the reviews I've seen that the pacing is a little off. It's not enough to stop me reading, but I do think it has leeched some of the (admittedly rather large) enthusiasm I had for the book. 

What I'm reading next
Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen has just come in for me on short loan, and I've heard reports it's not bad so I'm eager to see for myself. I also plan on rereading Earth Girl and Earth Star by Janet Edwards as Earth Flight comes out next week.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Reading Wednesday Thursday Friday.

If's been a while since I've done one of these but it's not been for a lack of reading!

What I've finished reading
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. I thought it managed to hold up the atmosphere and uneasiness factor the whole way through, and I was definitely intrigued by the biologist, though I was a little unsure about the Crawler scene. I'm not sure I'll reread this, but I'm glad I read it and I'll be reading the next book in the Trilogy, Authority, as I'm even more curious about Area X now.

The Chicagoland Vampire series by Chloe Neill. I spent about a fortnight reading these and they were exactly what I needed them to be: fast, enjoyable reads that distracted me. I was a little disappointed that I didn't love the rest of the books as much as I loved the first one, but not enough to stop me adoring certain characters or carry on reading. I will be reading new books in the series as they come out, but I think they will be library only books.

Poison Study by Maria V Snyder. I first read this years ago and though I hadn't really planned on rereading it, it crossed my desk at work and it really appealed to the mood I was in. I really enjoyed reading it again even if it did feel a little clunkier in some places than I remember. The main romance seemed a lot less sudden for me this time, but I think this is just that I have become better at reading subtext since then rather than I was expecting it. I plan on catching up with the other two in the trilogy sometime soon.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. As with the first one, my main reaction was ROBIN! and this time around I really appreciated Strike a lot more. I definitely agree with those who say the locations are a bit over described, but that didn't stop me enjoying it and after a while I stopped noticing as the book completely sucked me in. My overall reaction is the same as the first one as well; really enjoyed it, don’t particularly plan on rereading it, but I’m looking forward to the next one.

I DNF'd Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon. I finally admitted it just wasn't doing anything for me so off to the charity shop it goes.

What I'm reading
The Shadow Throne by Django Wexler. Well, I've only just started this but it is shaping up to be full of political intrigue and I've really liked what I've read so far.

Thief's Magic by Trudi Canavan. It's hard to tell if its me or the book, but I've lost a lot of my initial enthusiasm for this. I did skim ahead though and it seems like I will like it later on so I'll carry on with this next week when I've had a chance to relax and get some enthusiasm back.

What' I'm reading next
I've got a pile of books I plan to read on my week off: Authority, The Martian by Andy Weir, The Lascar's Dagger by Glenda Larke, and Girls, Goddesses and Giants by Lari Don.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

WIP: Oodles and oodles and a bit of hooking

Let's just pretend it's Wednesday.

I've been doing oodles and oodles of lovely, brain-free garter stitch lately as the log cabin blanket has been my mainstay project. It's also lovely and cosy for curling up to knit with (usually in the evening when it gets quite cool) so that's a definite plus.

There is a super-secret project going on in our family just now that means I'm crocheting again. I'm still fairly new at it, and these motifs are taking more brain power than I have at times so my progress here is a lot slower. I am really pleased with the one I've finished though so it is proving something of a mood boost!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Sucess Journalling

For a multitude of reasons life has been rather rough lately to say the least. I'm trying to get my mental health back on track so I thought I would try success journalling, something I've heard and read a lot about over the last couple of years as being beneficial.

Success journalling is exactly what it sounds like: at the end of each day you reflect and write down what you consider to be successful or positive about your day. It can be anything from the smallest thing to the larger, the idea is to remind you that despite the fact we can have a tendency to dwell on the negative, positive things do occur in our lives.Things like spent time with friends or family, knitted or crocheted, wrote, cooked, made an awesome cup of tea, didn't eat all the chocolate raisins (wait, is that just me?), anything at all during our day that is good or positive.

I've seen different numbers bandied about as the ideal list number, but after thinking about it carefully I settled on a minimum of six things. It's a big enough number to make a positive impression, but not too big that it's going to make me feel worse on bad days for not being able to come up with more.

It's also a good reason to break out one of the notebooks from my stash. (Not that I really need one.) This one in particular is purple with shiny owls, and it practically screamed my name the second I saw it in Paperchase. I look forward to writing in it every night (especially with a purple pen that is a nice writer), and that can only be a good habit builder.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

WIP Wednesday

I'm in one of those hardly knitting periods, but I have managed to make some visible progress on my sock.

I've put the marker in for the afterthought heel! Once again I'm really chuffed with how it's progressing, and the novelty certainly hasn't worn off yet.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Reading Wednesday

What I've finished reading
Mirror Sight by Kristen Britain. I have so many contradictory feelings about this book. On one hand, it’s apparent that Britain is improving as a writer, and I did enjoy a lot of the book. There was a lot of new worldbuilding, and there felt like there was some character progression. It didn’t go as I expected, but it was still mostly enjoyable. 

On the other hand, this is the fifth book in a series that started in 1998, and it’s essentially filler because the end turns out to be filled with magical!memory loss with only a few notes to remember the whole 700+ pages by. Plus the majority of the book feels like Britain decided she wanted to write a steampunk novel but had to write this book first so she decided to get it in anyway she could. (That said, I did really enjoy her take on steampunk, especially in relation to the Green Rider world, but the rest of the series is very much high fantasy so it was rather jarring.) And Amberhill. I do agree with all the other reactions that having three personalities seemed quite over the top, but in the overall scheme of things I didn’t have to suspend my disbelief too much so I'll let it pass. I do think it would have been more effective with just the two personalities though.

Overall, I did enjoy the book (which is what makes it all the more frustrating), but I am really glad I went in knowing the ending as otherwise I would have been as annoyed as a lot of the other reactions I’ve seen. And the more I think about it, it is more and more just the ending I have a problem with. What is the point of writing a 700 page novel only to forget it/essentially make it never happen? At the end of the day, very little in the plot is further forward, more angst is set up and it just all feels like a waste of a book, especially since it is likely to be another three years to the next one (not the longest wait I know, but still).

What I'm currently reading
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. It’s shaping up to be a really intriguing, atmospheric read, and I am really quite enjoying it. Plus, the UK hardback edition I’m reading is a lovely book in itself.

Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan. I am also enjoying this so far. There are a lot of really interesting concepts, and I like the one main character I've met so far. He thinks things through! It's the sort of book where you don't think you've read much, then look up to discover half an hour has past and you are now 50 pages further on. 

What I'm reading next
It’s starting to become a bit of a joke, but I really am going to pick up Trading in Danger this time.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

WIP Wednesday

My mindless knitting (therefore the one getting a lot of work done on it at the moment) is my log cabin blanket, and I'm pleased with how its coming on (so delightfully dense and squishy!). I'm reached the end of the leftover yarn I had from the previous one blanket so I went stash diving and found two shades of purple that will match brilliantly.

I don't think I've mentioned this one on the blog yet, but I followed the herd and started Zuzu's petals a while back. It's definitely thinking knitting for me, but I've managed to get a few rounds done over the last couple of weeks. I love the pattern, and I'm finding it very clear to follow when I have a brain. Alas, whilst I also liked the yarn (King Cole Riot Chunky), I don't like the pattern/yarn combo. It just doesn't show the pattern off, so I'm about to rip it back and use some Debbie Bliss yarn from my stash instead. 

I've also managed a couple of rounds on my sock, but it looks almost exactly the same as the last time, so there doesn't seem like any point in taking another photo of it. 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Reading Wednesday

It’s been a tough fortnight, and mostly I've knitted oodles of garter stitch and rewatched some boxsets. There has been progress on the reading front though!

What I've finished reading
The only book finished this last fortnight has been Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts. It was exactly the cosy read I needed, and though it is rather predictable and a little trite in places, I'm quite looking forward to reading the last in the trilogy.

I have been culling my library pile all little as well (I take a lot of random books home, and they quickly build up), but I'm not counting those as it was mainly skim reading to see if I was ever going to properly read them.

What I'm currently reading
Mirror Sight by Kristen Britain. I've just started this, but I'm trying not to get too excited after the three year wait for it because of what I've read online. I was going to avoid spoilers, but after the last book I learned it really is the only way to avoid possibly throwing it against the wall massive disappointment with this series.

I've started with How to be a Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott. I love the title, but I've only really read the first chapter so I can’t comment too much. I'm finding it an easy style to read though.

What I'm reading next
I’d like to get further through Trading in Danger (although I was thinking about this the other day and it may end up being a DNF).

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

What I'm reading this fortnight

What I've finished reading
Heaven's Queen by Rachel Bach. I loved reading it, and I thought it was a great ending to the trilogy. I especially loved how straightforward the answer turned out to be, even though implementing it wasn't straightforward at all. I really felt the Devi/Rupert in this book, and Bach completely made me believe Rupert deserved Devi's trust again, something I wasn't sure was possible after the last book. I squee'd almost as much as Devi at the ending, and all the little details sprinkled throughout (but especially at the end) make me want to read more about Paradox, especially the King and Royal Family.  Definitely a series that will be going on my reread pile.

What I'm reading
I'm loaded with a cold and sore throat at the moment, so it's Nora Roberts' Shadow Spell as some light comfort reading.

What I'm reading next
I don't even think I'm going to try naming anythng this time as I seem to keep jinxing myself lately.