Saturday, 30 January 2016

Sunday post 19; It's Monday, What are you reading? 7

Linking up with Kimba for the Sunday post here: and with Kathryn for It's Monday! What are you reading? here:

I'm doing this post early, so I don't forget later on in the rush of Sunday night spawn-wrangling and first-day-of-school shenanigans tomorrow. So, of course, I'm drawing a complete blank.

What did I DO last week? Not very much of anything, I suspect. I did do one of the two blog posts  I talked about last Sunday; the short reviews one of all five books I've read so far this year: I think my favourite so far has to be Shadowshaper, but so far not a dud read. *Fingers crossed.*

I did a little bit of stitching, and advanced my Grey Wardens pattern, so that half of "vigilance" is finished. I'll post a  pic and write a post about it when that word is done. Now that I've managed to do this one and not totally mangle it, I'm thinking of finding a nice alphabet or two or three and doing "Survival is insufficient"; a quote from Star Trek: Voyager and also from Station Eleven, aka the book of my heart. (Never mind the 2489577 other cross-stitch WIPs I have scattered about. Shush.)

Hopefully, this year, I can get the Grey Wardens pattern finished, and also Circe, which I have had on the go - on and off, obviously, for more than 10 years. I'll post a pic of that one in the upcoming cross-stitch post, too.

Heather at made this post - - about a project she plans to undertake, called The Dead Ladies Project, and it jogged my memory.

Gathering dust in google docs, I have a list of women from different eras and disciplines. I was going to try and start some kind of project, but really all I did was google things like "women composers" and save the links to the wikipedia pages. Heather's post,  however, has got me thinking, so ... watch this space? Maybe?

I'm still going to do a post on my top three non-match 3 apps, which I meant to do last week. And I've had one knocking about in my brain for the past week or so - "things that I like that people don't think middle aged women should like" but I don't know how it would come out. What I see of women my age on TV and in movies,  mostly, is that they're exasperated by their husbands or helping children with their homework, but seem to have no inner lives of their own. And we all know that's just not true. I'd love some feedback on whether I should go ahead or not, I'm not the most articulate when it comes to Deep and Meaningful, and I tend to generalise.

I'm still applying for jobs. I have my fingers mentally crossed for a couple, some I don't expect anything from, but I find it's a good discipline; writing the cover letters and sending off applications. I DO have an "informal chat" tomorrow at a local community paper; they're apparently looking for a part-time proofreader and someone who works there now thought of me (we used to work together). It would only be a few hours a week, but the way I see it, at this point (after four or so months) I'm ready to start doing something, while I still look for something fulltime.

As for what I'm reading ... I'm about to re-read the Captive Prince books by C S Pacat in anticipation of book three coming out on Tuesday. I also picked a book up at the library called The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic, which sounds like a fun read, so that's what's up next.

How's your week going?

What are you reading?

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Short reviews

So far for 2016, I've read five books. Rather than let them pile up into a force of unknown strength and then collapse on top of me. I see you coming, books. I have your number.

First up, The Gunslinger, book one of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I am Determined to read this series this year. De-ter-mined. It will happen.

I read the first three many years ago; I have vague memories of heartbroken me after my first marriage broke up lounging on the couch and reading The Gunslinger. (I also read Dune at that time.)

The upshot is I remembered almost nothing, so it was just like starting over. And. So far so good? I found it a bit of a slog, to be honest, especially for such a short book, but. This is my quest. My 2016 journey. I will do it. I will take the Ring to Mordor. *clenches fist*.

Next up was The Distance Between Us by L A Witt. Ethan and Rhett are splitsville after 10 years, but they own a house together and selling it wouldn't make the money they need. Enter Kieran, to help speed the process up (aside: Kieran is my brother's name. It was VERY STRANGE reading about someone called Kieran being banged six ways to Sunday.)

So. Anyway. Kieran moves in and he's like, super-hot and both Rhett and Ethan start banging him (of course) then someone has the idea of sharesies! And so threesomes happen and ... uhm.

I enjoyed it, I did, it's a fast read, uncomfortable associations aside, but I thought Rhett and Ethan needed a better emotional payoff for a reunion than "let's bang the hot room-mate until inconvenient feelings resurface."

(I'm reading book 2 now; there's five total in the series, each one focusing on different characters. Book 2 focuses on Kieran. Good times, good times.)

Then we're on to Dragon Age: Magekiller 2, written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Carmen Carnero. In book two of this five-book graphic novel series, mercenaries Marius and Tessa - who have made it their life mission to eradicate blood mages - have been tricked by the Archon of the Tevinter Imperium into doing a job for him, involving a cult called the Venatori.

It's all very fast-paced and kind of chasey-chasey and it's set juuuuuust before Inquisition - actually, the end of book #2 lines up with the start of Inquisition, and I'm excited for issue #3. I like it a lot - especially Tessa, who's narrating the story, and catching glimpses of the Imperium is super-cool. (Especially given the distinct possibility DA4 may be set there.)

Fourth for this year, is Lion of Senet by Jennifer Fallon, book one of the Second Sons trilogy. Oooh, I liked this. I liked this very much of a lot. Intrigue! Magic! SCIENCE! Dodgy cults! Dodgy cultists! Likeable characters! Unlikeable villians! I'm a simple girl, and I like it when fantasy does what it says it's going to on the tin. (Don't get me wrong, I also like it when fantasy looks at the tin, says "I LAUGH AT YOUR TIN" and then goes and builds a new tin .. I'm getting off track). Lion of Senet is about the second sons of, well, the Lion of Senet (VILLAIN) and the second son of the Duke (GOOD GUY BUT NOT ACTUALLY THIS PARTICULAR SECOND SON'S FATHER /SCANDAL/) who become friends, and there's a king in hiding (who IS the other second son's father ... DUN DUN DUN) and a madman who's also a genius and clever people and the Age of Shadows is coming ... and this is not very coherent but I liked it a lot.

Fifth, so far, and very much NOT the least of them, is Shadowshaper, by Daniel Jose Older.

Sierra is your typical 16-year-old - she hangs out with her friends, she paints giant murals on abandoned buildings ... at least, until one of the murals starts crying. Then, Sierra discovers a whole world out there she knew nothing about, despite it being steeped far in her family history.

If anyone reads this post and  you read one book from this list, read this one. It's so, so good. Sierra is a fully realised character and watching her come into her own shadowshaping power is an amazing thing. It's visually stunning (I mean, for a book? You know what I mean) and the story is solid and the cover is beautiful, and look. Just do yourself a favour. Read it.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Sunday post 18; What are you reading on Monday 6

Linking up with Kimba at for the Sunday Post and with Kathryn at for It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Apparently I haven't done one of these posts in about three weeks. Or any post in about three weeks.

That was an unintended break, and hopefully one that won't be repeated. We'll see though, life, etc.

Speaking of, it's trucking along here much as usual. I started applying for jobs after the new year, and will keep doing so while I cross fingers and toes that something will come up soon. As nice at it has been to be at home for the past four months, it's time to venture out into the world again.

I've been baching the past week, J and spawn headed up north to visit J's parents and I stayed home to hold down the fort and feed the cats. They're due back tomorrow, and as nice as the peace and quiet has been, I'm looking forward to them coming home.

My reading year has got off to a bit of an unsteady start, but I have got through four books - The Gunslinger, Lion of Senet, The Distance Between Us and Magekiller #2 - so that's not too bad. Hopefully if my blogging habit is returning after three weeks in the outer limits, I'll do a short reviews post this week.

Also, hopefully, I'm going to do a post on my three favourite non-match 3 games.

As for what I'm reading ... I finished Lion of Senet today, and really enjoyed it. I'm about halfway through Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older, and I think Sierra might be one of my new favourite characters. Possibly ever.

After that ... possibly book two of the Dark Tower series, and a re-read of Captive Prince and Prince's Gambit by C S Pacat before King's Rising is released next month.

How about you? How's your week been? What are you reading?

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Sunday Post 17 and What Are You Reading on Monday 5

Happy New Year everyone! Here's hoping 2016 is a good one!

I'm linking up with Kimba at for the Sunday Post and with Kathryn at for It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Last week was a pretty quiet one around here. That week between Christmas and New Year is such an odd time, I always think. Like it's been suspended in space, or something. Everything is quiet. Like the big inhale before the exhale of the New Year.

Anyway. I got through my annual LOTR re-watch last night, and made some good progress on my peonies cross-stitch. Now I'll go back to a 10-hour rotation, with three projects on the go. Good times, good times.

I haven't really made concrete resolutions for 2016. Just. Drink more water. Eat more fruit. Be kind. That's really it.

I took spawn to the movies last week, grit my teeth and sat through Alvin 4 or whatever it was. Spawn enjoyed it but it is not a good movie. We have a playdate today, so that should be .... a thing. He'll have fun, anyway.

I did manage a couple of posts last week; one reflecting on the past year: and one talking about making 2016 the year of the series:

Other than that .... not a lot. As I said, it was a very quiet week.

As for what I'm reading, I'm about halfway through The Gunslinger by Stephen King and should finish sometime this week. After that I'm not sure. I might finally read Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older. We'll see.

How was your week?

What are you reading?