It's Monday

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Your meme is hosted by Sheila here: http://bookjourney.net/

I had to stop and think for a minute - what AM I reading?

I finished The Enchanted, by Rene Denfeld, a short but very powerful novel, narrated by an inmate on death row. It's infused with a lot of magic realism, I think, and it's also very hard to describe. It's well worth a read, though.

Stephen King's new book, Revival, came out last week, so I have that on the go as well.

My lunchtime reading is a novel for $2 that I found on iBooks called UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn.  It's not the best book ever, but it's readable and nice and easy for workday lunches.

I did start Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, which I was liking a lot but I realised it's a spinoff from The Vampire Academy novels, so I want to go back to the start on those.

And, of course, up next is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for Sheila's readalong.

I've decided, I think, not to do a post for every book, but to do a wrap-up post at the end. I'll see how I go.

What are you reading?

Challenging times

Saturday, November 15, 2014
I love reading challenges. I mean, I think I love the IDEA of reading challenges more than the challenges themselves, though that never stops me from rampantly signing up.

Patrick is out at a birthday party, so I'm using this small, unexpected window of peace to do an update post.


I definitely failed out of the 2014 TBR challenge hosted here: http://roofbeamreader.com/ - I think I read four or five of the books I'd  pulled off my shelves, but I'm going to re-do my TBR shelf and sign up again, because hope springs eternal and all that.

I have, however, managed to do reasonably well on the women writer's challenge, hosted here: http://www.peekabook.it/2013/12/2014-women-challenge.html

I signed up to read at least 20 books by women writers, and so far I've read 31, out of the 54 books I've read this year. I still need to work on diversifying my reading, but it's a decent start, I think.

If that's on offer again next year, I'll definitely sign up again, with a focus on diversity. And, of course, I'll try and dovetail it with the More Diverse Universe challenge: http://www.aartichapati.com/

Two challenges I consistently fail out of are Once Upon a Time and RIP, and I don't know why because sci fi and fantasy and horror/suspense are some of my favourite genres. Perhaps 2015 will be my year.

Who knows, right?


It's Monday ...

Sunday, November 9, 2014
Sheila hosts the meme here: http://bookjourney.net/

I'm eleven books behind on my goodreads challenge, apparently. Hrm.

Anyway. I had a reasonably productive week last week, I think. I read Fox Forever, which is the last book in the Jenna Fox Chronicles and it was a satisfying end to the series. I highly, highly recommend The Adoration of Jenna Fox, and while I didn't like the two sequels quite as much, I did enjoy them.

I also read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for Sheila's Harry Potter readalong. I just finished watching the movies, and intended to re-read the books after, so the readalong was very timely.

I also read The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and by "read" I mean "inhaled it in two days and then made whale noises into a cushion." It's so so SO GOOD.

Right now, I'm reading The Enchanted, by Rene Denfeld, which is good so far, and also short, which is what I need at the moment.

Up next, of course, is The Chamber of Secrets.

What are you reading?

In .. out ...

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Time goes fast.

It’s a cliche, I know, but it’s also very, very true.

It’s January, and you turn around and suddenly it’s November and everyone is talking Christmas.

You have a baby, blink, and he’s seven.

I try not to think about it too much, because Patrick is doing what he’s supposed to do - growing up, going to school, making friends, being curious about the world, asking me about who controls souls (yes, really) … that kind of thing.

One of the things that he’s still … wee? small? young enough to want are big, big cuddles. He comes up to me with his big blue eyes, and his spray of freckles across his nose, and says “I want to be on you, Mummy.”

And one day, one day in the not-too-distant future, I’m going to turn around, or I’m going to blink, and I’m not going to remember when the last time was he asked me that question. Asking to be lifted up on to my lap for a cuddle, even though he’s only a head shorter than me now. When he does do that, my favourite thing for myself to do is to spread my fingers over his ribcage, and feel him breathing, in … out … in … out

I think about how I grew him. How I pretty much fell in love the second I saw the positive test, and how, when I finally held him for the first time as a baby, I realised that here was the person I would die for if I had to. I would walk in front  of a train for him without thinking.

It’s a profound, and terrifying thought.

Now, he’s seven, and has his own quirks, and charms, and interests. But he’s still small enough to need to crawl on to my lap; still young enough to need the reassurance of my arm around him, still wee enough that I can spread my hand over his ribcage and feel him breathing, in … out … in … out

The day will come that I no longer get to do that. He’ll be too old, too big, too eager for bigger things.

Meanwhile, I hold on to what I can, without holding him back, I hope.

I put my hand on his ribcage - a ribcage that I formed - and I feel him breathing. In … out … in … out

Talking about cats. Well. A cat.

Sunday, November 2, 2014
Everyone’s read those stories about the neighbourhood cat who embarasses their human servants by stealing small, portable household items - socks and the like.

But what if you have one of those cats, and that cat is agoraphobic?

Meet Sophie.

Sophie is a black and white domestic short-haired spayed female cat. We got her from the SPCA in January of 2013, so she’s nearly two years old.

She’s also a massive weirdo.

I don’t blog about our individual cats very often but I feel that an agoraphobic sock-stealer warrants a few words.

She will go outside - she actually waits for the front door to open, bolts outside and then turns around like she’s saying “I have made a terrible mistake.”

If she’s out for longer than a few minutes, she goes under the house and we get to hear about her trials and tribulations until J can coax her back in.

The socks … our hallway is always decorated with at least two socks. I wear thick socks instead of slippers and I’ll often find one or two of them in the hallway. Given half a chance, she’ll also pinch them straight out of drawers if the drawers are left open enough for her to get her paw in.

I went into Patrick’s room one day and she’d emptied his whole socks and undies drawer on to the floor. I can’t even imagine why.

She’s not a lap cat, in the traditional sense. She won’t sit on my lap at all if I’m on the couch. If I’m on the bed, or in the bed reading, however, I am - apparently - fair game.

She has a permanently startled look, not aided by the fact that her face looks like she stuck it in an inkwell and the colour stuck.

She is odd, and endearing and squawks when she meows, like she never learned how to make the noise properly.


An agoraphobic, sock-stealing cat who can’t meow properly and who has her own very clear boundaries with humans.


Well. It could be WORSE.

Harry Potter re-read

Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Fun, fun, fun!! Sheila of http://bookjourney.net/ is hosting a Hary Potter re-readalong. The details can be found here: http://bookjourney.net/2014/10/24/looking-for-potter-heads-winter-re-readreadalong/

It’s oddly timely for me because I’ve been re-watching the movies - I still have The Deathly Hallows Part 2 to go - and I was planning on re-reading the books once I was done, so this is actually perfect.

So I’m signing in for the readalong as a seventh-year Slytherin.

Yes, Slytherin. I joined Pottermore and got sorted and everything.

Hogwarts awaits!!

It's Monday, what are you reading?

Monday, October 27, 2014
Your meme is hosted by Sheila here: http://bookjourney.net/

I have to admit, I’ve had a reasonably productive weekend. By which I mean I finally finished two of the books I talked about in my readathon vlog. *Ahem.*

I finished Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie on Saturday, and it’s always a pleasure for me to revisit Dame Christie. I love a good mystery.

Yesterday I finished Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson - a re-telling of Peter Pan of sorts. It focuses on the character of Tiger Lily, who was a relatively minor presence in the original novel. It’s narrated by Tinker Bell, and fleshes out Neverland in some very interesting and unexpected ways. I did enjoy it rather a lot and it made me unexpectedly melancholy at the end, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I’ve had to rather shamefully bail on Trish’s readalong of Drood by Dan Simmons. I started it, and immediately found it incomprehensible. So. Onward.

I am a massive, massive idiot and it took me absolutely forever to realise that I could use my iPad mini as an e-reader. I had an e-reader - a Sony - that I basically never used so I gave it to J. THEN I saw a promo on facebook for like, iBooks where you could get the first of a series for free.

AND LO, I SAW THE LIGHT. AND THAT LIGHT SAID “YOU COULD BUY BOOKS ON IBOOKS AND READ THEM IN THE CAF AT WORK AT LUNCHTIME.”

So that’s what I did. Which is a very roundabout way of saying that one of the books I have on the go is The  Maze Runner. it was cheap on iBooks and so it’s my lunchtime book. It’s not bad but  I’m finding it a little bit … YOU KNOW NOTHING JON SNOW which is irritating.

I’m also reading Fox Forever, book three of the Jenna Fox series. I only started it today, but so far, so good.

What are you reading?