31 August 2009

Silver Borne (Patricia Briggs)

Silver Borne is the fifth book in Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series. The anticipated publication date is 30 March 2010. Thank you to Kerry for the heads up about the cover!

28 August 2009

It's Alive....And A Cunning Plan

It's alive! *happy dance* My lovely friend has fixed my computer. He's a complete star! Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you lovely friend! I believe it was running v e r y s l o w l y *grin* I will be able to play on the Internet this weekend...and indulge in cookies *grin* All is good.

I also have a cunning plan...so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel! My library hold list has now hit 94! But...I can't reduce it because I'm currently reading books that have been lent to me by friends...lovely friends I should add...and I'm beginning to panic. So, I thought of a cunning plan. Firstly, I'm going to finish reading my current book - Resurrectionist (James McGee):
For the body snatchers, death is a lucrative business but one grave robber was about to come closer to his trade than he would have wished. His violent murder brings the gruesome living of the city's band of body snatchers to the attention of one Matthew Hawkwood, a man whose past is as dark as his quarry's. A new term at London's anatomy schools has brought demand for fresh corpses, a situation that threatens to spiral into violence. For there is competition among these "resurrection men" in the graveyards of London - a new gang of criminals is in town whose brutality shocks even Hawkwood. Meanwhile, an investigation into a series of dramatic mutilations and murders in Bedlam, home of the criminally insane, leads to ever-stranger clues that suggest a connection between the two inquiries. Delving deep into the world of anatomy and the country's foremost surgeons, Hawkwood hears of bizarre experiments at the literal cutting edge of technology - and beyond. But nothing prepares him for the horrifying truth that lies at the outer reaches of science and nature.
I'm going to return Resurrectionist (which is the second in the Hawkwood series BTW - Ratcatcher is the first) to my friend and start reading New Moon (Stephenie Meyer), which has also been lent to me by a friend. I'm going to read it then return it along with the copies of Eclipse and Breaking Dawn that she lent me. There is method to my madness: I've placed a library hold on Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. This way I can read them when I chose, which means that a number of absolutely mind blowing books that have been languishing on my TBR list, including A Companion to Wolves (Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear), Fragile Eternity (Melissa Marr), Smooth Talking Stranger (Lisa Kleypas) and The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss), can (finally) be read. And yes, there is a third book in the Hawkwood series, but I'm planning to add that to my TBR list too *grin* I do have lots of interesting manga from cyphomandra, so I'm planning on interspersing that between the library books. And while I will have to read my library books in the order in which the holds expire (which is the case for three books in September), I am going to try and pick other books (e.g. Hunting Ground [Patricia Briggs]) up early. Otherwise the sparkle (no, not vampire sparkle) of anticipation has dimmed by the time I finally pick a much anticipated book up. I'm also going to set time frames for my online activity...and for chores...so that I can spend some quality time reading.

So, what do you think of my cunning plan...and is it at all feasible? Have you devised any cunning plans to reduce your TBR list to more manageable levels? I have also thought of perhaps culling *shock horror* my TBR list...but am wondering if that is a bit extreme...

25 August 2009

Offline

To all intents and purposes, I am still 'offline'. I have been 'lurking' during the working week, but that is not via my home computer (which is, I think, kaput *looks at computer forlornly*) and thus my access is...curtailed (for want of a better word)...until my very lovely friend (thank you lovely friend) ascertains whether or not I have broken my computer irrevocably. So, for those of you who think I am ignoring you/your blogs - I'm not! Honest! It's just that time constraints and...certain cookies *looks sideways at Kris* may not be appropriate for certain computers (if you catch up drift).

Anyway, being offline over the weekend got me to thinking...how much time do I actually spend online? Quite a bit, considering how many chores I managed to complete on the weekend *grin* However, I am still utilizing (antiquated) dial-up at home, and will be for a while longer. One hour on broadband (or whatever it is called where you live *grin*) roughly equates to five hours on dial-up IMO...and that is a HUGE chunk of one day!

So, I was wondering, do you (and if so how) balance online and offline? Or is that just a really silly question?

19 August 2009

Threes or Fours?

It is said that things come in threes (although ABC obviously doesn't hold with that theory). However, so far I count four:

1. My home computer is broken *sob sob* So, if you're wondering why I've suddenly gone AWOL from your blog, I haven't. Not deliberately anyway. Unfortunately, my computer is stuck in a time loop...trying to update itself. You'd think one Microsoft update wouldn't take that long...3 1/2 hours and counting. Personally, I think I broke it :( It just can't handle all those eBooks. My lovely friend has volunteered to look at it - he's the best! So, if you're waiting with bated breath for my review of The Mirador, please breathe as part of it is on the computer and part of it is in rough note form (and sitting on my dining room table).

2. When I arrived home last night I dropped the alarm remote (I was doing the 'let's not put anything down to unlock the door' dance). Of course, it separated into its myriad parts, and although I attempted to put it back together it (of course) doesn't work.

3. While drying a potato peeler (and I still don't know how I managed to do this) I somehow managed to slice a hole in the tea towel and in my thumb. Result: blood (lots of) and the use of various plasters. Although, on the bright side, I did get to try a waterproof plaster :)

4. And this morning I broke my mug. My favourite mug. My World of James Herriot mug (no laughing). I'm in mourning. And no, I don't drink coffee or tea - it's my milk mug. (Yes, I drink it straight - it's the only way :)

So whoever said things comes in threes was wrong...although to be fair my computer stopped working Sunday night. On a more positive (Pollyanna) note, I cleared my post box this morning (making me late for work - it's been one of those weeks) and inside was a yaoi manga book from Jenre. Thank you Jenre! And ohhhhh, it looks good! It will be my reward for surviving this week!

So, how is your week going? Ups? Downs? And do you believe that things come in threes?

Updated to add: Just realised this is my 100th post. Scary! I was hoping for a more exciting topic for such a momentous occasion but...c'est la vie *grin*

17 August 2009

(Young) Adult?


For the last month, the lovely Ana & Thea from The Book Smugglers have been hosting a Young Adult (YA) Appreciation Month, with giveaways, guest posts and interviews, along with numerous reviews. They also issued an open invitation to write a YA post.

I have to be honest - I've been rather overwhelmed with the number and quality of YA books Ana & Thea have been discussing over the past month.
When I was a young adult (I think I'm beginning to sound like my grandmother) the selection of YA books was not all that great; the range was limited, as was the content. And that got me to thinking...is the young still in young adult? Recently published YA books seem far more...explicit is too harsh a word...detailed (perhaps?) than when I was a young adult (and now I definitely sound like my grandmother *grin*). The books available today deal with various topics - drug and sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, bullying (and not just in contemporary settings but in [urban] fantasy as well). I'm not saying it is a bad thing, I'm just curious as to why. Is it the books themselves that have changed or has society changed and YA books with it? Children grow up a lot faster now than they did then, so perhaps the YA books of today simply reflect that....

13 August 2009

Retracing Your Steps

Friends and I were chatting the other week at morning tea. Say you'd read a series, a great yet complicated series. But say the author had...'paused'...mid-series (no, I'm not getting on my soapbox about that topic, because we discussed that in Soapbox Favourites (Part II) but was finally planning to publish the next 'installment'. Would you go back and re-read the whole series to familiarize yourself with the characters and the plot to date or would you read a synopsis?

10 August 2009

Soapbox Favourites (Part II)

Last week, in Soapbox Favourites (Part I), I listed those books/series I love to jump on my soapbox about and pimp to all and sundry. Now it is time for those books that drive me to drink...well, OK, drive me to rant and rave...and generally make no sense whatsoever - a not uncommon occurrence *grin* Please note, I don't necessarily dislike these books - I just like to jump on my soapbox and rant about them. (I will try and keep the ranting to a minimum.) Somehow I don't think you'll be surprised with my choices...

* The Black Dagger Brotherhood (JR Ward). For those of you who are wondering why this series is even here, you probably missed my Lover Avenged rant (twice) earlier this year. The thing that most drives me absolutely batf*ck insane (to borrow a phrase from Mildmay [a character from Sarah Monette's The Doctrine of Labyrinths ]) is the product placement. It's not necessary! Does it add to my understanding of the characters? Is it integral to the plot? I think not! *look down and steps carefully off the soapbox* I wasn't also thrilled that one of the characters ended up noncorporeal...but I was OK with it until the rules started bending (dare I say breaking?)...

* Twilight (Stephenie Meyer). Yes, there was a rant about Twilight too. Edward....sparkles? And, while I did love the movie and while I will be reading New Moon (and yes, alright, going to see the movie in November) I reserve my right to rant!

And, weirdly, that is my list. Succinct, aren't I? *grin* So, what books do you get on your soap box and rant about?

09 August 2009

Help Wanted

I started reading Eve of Darkness (SJ Day) this morning. One of the things I was most curious about was the reason why Eve was Marked. And then I reached this...explanation (for want of a better word):
"On second thought, don't tell me. Just explain what I'm being punished for."
"For tempting me."
Say what? Eve was just being...Eve (an 18-year-old Eve I might add)....and supposedly just being Eve tempts Cain and yet...Eve is the one that gets punished? Because Cain was tempted? I can't speak or type I'm so mad. I'm all but frothing at the mouth. What kind of reason is that? Not a fair one by any stretch of the imagination IMO!

So, to those of you who have read Eve of Darkness (and/or the sequels), I would be very grateful if you could possibly reassure me that this 'reason' will make sense further on, because I'm honestly not sure if I want to continue reading. Because what I really want to do is rant at (no, not the author) the person within the story who 'wrote' the rules in the first place and explain things. Succinctly.

Updated to add: Oh, and in the Caine versus Abel decision....Abel *grin*

05 August 2009

Soapbox Favourites (Part I)

Confession time! Last week, the lovely Kati of Katidom awarded me a Kreative Blogger Award - thank you Kati! - but I avoided listing my seven favourite things. Kati suggested that I list my favourite books...and that got me to thinking...what are my favourite books?

So, without further ado, here is a list (in no particular order) of my favourite books...well, not exactly - it's a list of the books that I get on my soapbox about and pimp to all and sundry (hence the title of the post *grin*).

* The Doctrine of Labyrinths (Sarah Monette). This is one of the best fantasy series I have ever read! I've already raved about reviewed the first two books - Melusine and The Virtu - and am currently reading (and loving) the third book - The Mirador! (And yes, I'm hoping to review that too.)

* The Last Herald Mage series (Mercedes Lackey). I fell in love with these books when I was a teenager and I love them still. They are books I read when I hit rock bottom.
* Psy-Changeling series (Nalini Singh). I don't think I can heap any more superlatives on to this series than have already been said. This is the series I use to tempt people into reading paranormal romance...

* Sebastian St Cyr series (CS Harris). I only discovered this series (and author) this year...it's Regency London with all the gritty, stark detail that is missing from the Regency romance novels I love.

* Silent series (Deanna Raybourn). The lovely CJ of The Thrillionth Page is currently reading the second book is this series - Silent in the Sanctuary. It's beautifully written and the characters leap off the page. And, for those of you who have read any of the books in the series, am I the only one wondering if Jack the Ripper will make even a small appearance?

So, what books do you get on your soap box about and love to pimp?

Oh, and for those of you wondering why this post is entitled Soapbox Favourites Part I, there will be a Part II...in which I'll be discussing the books I love to get on my soapbox and rant about...*grin*

Shalador's Lady (Anne Bishop)

Shalador's Lady is the eighth book in Anne Bishop's Black Jewel series:
Return to the “intense...erotic...and imaginative”* world of the national bestselling Black Jewels novels with this sequel to The Shadow Queen. In Anne Bishop’s “vividly painted”** realm, witches and warlocks channel their power through magical jewels—and one Queen has emerged from the shadows to bring hope to an impoverished people…

For years the Shalador people suffered the cruelties of the corrupt Queens who ruled them, forbidding their traditions, punishing those who dared show defiance, and forcing many more into hiding. And even though the refugees found sanctuary in Dena Nehele, they have never been able to call it home.

Now that Dena Nehele has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore the land and prove her ability to rule. She knows that undertaking this task will require all her heart and courage as she summons the untested power within her, a power capable of consuming her if she cannot control it.
And even if Lady Cassidy survives her trial by fire, other dangers await. For the Black Widows see visions within their tangled webs that something is coming that will change the land—and Lady Cassidy—forever…

*Nancy Kress, author of Steal Across the Sky
** Lynn Flewelling, author of The White Road
And the anticipated publication date is 02 March 2010! Thank you to Kerry for the heads up about the cover and summary!

04 August 2009

Once Upon A Time...

Once upon a time there was a book...a very special book...called Broken Wing (Judith James). And there was much talk of this book and it was all good. However, in various (online) realms this book languished unopened...and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth (because how could I not include that line?). And those who perpetrated this lapse were ashamed.

So a challenge was issued, a monumental task, to read Broken Wing and to speak (online) openly of the book. Fourteen brave knights stepped forth to accept the challenge. Their stories may be harrowing and dark (yes, I'm laying it on a little thick, but I'm telling a story so, you know, artistic licence and all that) but they have (mostly...because some fair knights have yet to return from their crusade *cue dramatic music*) triumphed!

Seek below for their tales and learn...and speak boldly your thoughts...for on this day all will be revealed...

- orannia
- Aymless
- azteclady
- Renee
- Christine
- Marg
- SarahT
- Kris
- Lisa Marie Wilkinson
- ShellBell
- Maria Lokken
- Mad
- LeeAnn
- Mariana

Update to add the tale of the brave and fair azteclady, who has returned hale and hearty with tidings of Broken Wing...

Updated again to add the tales of the numerous knights who have returned triumphant from their harrowing quest...

Updated yet again to ask all ye brave knights to tell us, in your own, humble words, of the high and lows of your travels, the weird and wonderous characters that ye did meet...the wonders that ye saw...so that we may be amazed...

02 August 2009

Books 2009: July Update

Total to date: 46 books (8 books this month)

The 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge total to date: 34 books (2 books this month) [which is rather unusual for me because I'm a complete library junkie]

A list of all the books I've read to date (from 01 January 2008) can be found at Library Thing.

Favourite books of the month?

* Branded By Fire (Nalini Singh)

* Why Mermaids Sing (CS Harris)

Currently reading: The Mirador (Sarah Monette)

And the book I'm most looking forward to next month is...to be decided *grin*

What did you read last month?