Friday Reads ~ in which I ignore a book

Astute Goodreads friends will notice that I included a book for work on my “Currently Reading” shelf. However, I’m not including that here as I just don’t feel like it. So while I will track my progress on that one in Goodreads (to the extent that I track any progress there, which is seldom except when I start or end a book) but will be ignoring it here. I will also not be writing a full review of it, so as far as the blog is concerned, I’ll be ignoring it from here on out. (In all probability I will only mention work reading on here again if I need to provide an explanation of why the for-fun reading is moving slower than I would like.)

But other than that possibly boring work-related book, here’s how the reading is going.

WHAT I READ:

I finished Wish You Were Here, the first of the Mrs. Murphy Mysteries by Rita Mae Brown. It was cute, it was practically the definition of a cozy mystery, and the animal interactions were SUPER FUN. The full review is here. This is book #1 (out of 10) for the Purrfect Reading Challenge 2017 hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews.

WHAT I’M READING:

I started Kelley Armstrong’s A Darkness Absolute, second in the Rockton (aka Casey Duncan) novels. Haven’t gotten very far yet, but if this is anything like the first one (and other Armstrong works) there will come a point when I CAN. NOT. PUT. THE. BOOK. DOWN. I’m both looking forward to and dreading that point in the book. (It usually comes at a bad time, like 11 pm on a work night or 5 minutes before I’m due back from my lunch break.)

I’m still listening to Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis. Still enjoying it. Almost done, but not quite.

I’m also almost done – but not quite – with the eBook of Glitter & Mayhem. (I expect to have both of those “almost” books done within a few days, so this should change for next week’s update.) I have finished Seanan McGuire’s story, which was the reason I picked up the anthology in the first place. I really enjoyed it, and it’s made me more excited than I was before to read the second InCryptid book. However, I have a few other things on the TBR shelf which have priority due to library due dates.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

The next audio book will be the third in the Narnia series (by the old reckoning), The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

My next paper book is a bit up for debate. I picked up 3 other fiction books when I checked out Kelley’s latest: The Witch and the Dead by Heather Blake, A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas  E.Sniegoski, and Endless Blue by Wen Spencer. Any one of the three could be my next paper book after I’m done reading about Casey Duncan. (The Spencer book is the most likely, but it’s not a given.)

Next eBook is still Nozy Cat #1. I’ll get there. One note, though: I usually read eBooks a lot slower than their paper counterparts. I just don’t enjoy the reading process as much on a screen as I do with a physical book. So you can expect this (and any future) eBook to move much more slowly without reflecting badly on the actual content. (Look at Glitter & Mayhem as an example. If this was a paper book, I am positive I would have finished it at least a week ago instead of still being in the process of reading it.)

Have a great weekend, and Happy Reading!

WIP Weds ~ in which I have startitis

Those of you who are knitters (and possibly also those of you who love knitters) will be familiar with the term “startitis”. Basically, it means the urge to start a new project even though you haven’t finished any of your existing projects. Sometimes this is cured by starting one new project, and sometimes it requires many new projects to conquer.

In my case, this time, I was able to cure my startitis with a single new project. I suspect this has something to do with the fact that the new project is lace (which I love), easy to memorize (which is extremely convenient), and uses a soft fuzzy pretty mohair yarn.

This is the Circle of Love Lace Cowl by Evelyn Clark.I’m using Crystal Palace Yarns Kid Merino yarn, and LOVE IT so far. I have completed 4 of 9 repeats, so I’m nearly halfway through, and I’m still going strong. Given that I started this cowl on Friday late at night (when I finally gave in and decided that the urge to start a new project wasn’t going away) and I’m writing this post on Tuesday afternoon, I think that’s some darn good progress. Granted, almost the entirety of last weekend was spent either knitting or playing video games*. But still.

I love this project. And I think this is one of those patterns that I will make at least twice, because it’s so fun and simple. (If I do, I intend to add beads to the next one. There’s a double decrease on the 1st and 5th pattern rows which would be a perfect bead placement location.)

Come to think of it, I think it’s partly the weather which had me wanting something new. It’s been gray and rainy lately – which has been great for the drought, but not so great for recharging our batteries. (Californians are solar-powered, in case you weren’t aware.)

I hope you’ve been having a great week so far! Let me know if you have any antidotes for next time I get startitis…

* California has been hit hard by an atmospheric river. Lots of rain, wind, and flooding. We weren’t going ANYWHERE that we didn’t have to last weekend.

Friday Reads ~ in which the library throws a wrench in my plans

Well, before we get into this week’s books, let me give you a quick update on last week’s finished book. I have the review for A Journey to the Center of the Earth up here, if you’re interested. (If not that’s fine too. But since it wasn’t ready in time for last week’s Friday Reads, I thought I’d share just in case.)

And now for this week:

WHAT I READ:

I finished the 12th Girl Genius graphic novel last Friday (I think it was Friday). It was one of those “start reading with dinner and don’t stop until ‘THE END'” type of nights. It was lovely. I do still enjoy the series, but we’re in an enjoyment dip for me. (I tend to go from loving the story to liking the story and back again periodically depending on which sub-plots are being focused on. I’m currently in the “liking it” stage.)

I was listening to Fablehaven by Brandon Mull, but decided not to finish it. It’s interesting enough at the beginning, but it hasn’t caught my interest the way I suspect it would for someone of the target audience. (Does this qualify as a Middle Grade book? I’m leaning toward yes.) But I figure since I’ve gotten about a quarter of the way into the book, exciting things have started happening with fairies, and I still don’t care what’s happening, this book isn’t for me. However, for someone in the age range (and reading skill level perhaps?) I think this would be an enjoyable book. Things seem to be explained at a good enough level for pre- or young teens, and the actions of the pre-teen main characters are probably more interesting to readers in the target age range.

WHAT I’M READING:

I am still reading Wish You Were Here. I’m really getting into it now, though, and so the reading is going faster. (When it started, it was very much what a cozy mystery is to me – something fun to read, but without the suspense that keeps you from putting the book down.)

And on my eReader I am still reading Glitter & Mayhem. Remember how I said it was a larger book than I expected? It still is. I’m still enjoying it, and I’ll go into which of the stories I enjoyed the most when I eventually finish it and write a full review. (Because as with any short story compilation, there are some good, some great, and some meh stories. And, as is again normal for short stories, my opinions may or may not match yours. If this compilation sounds interesting to you, you should read it and make your own opinions. And then please explain the story about death/dreaming to me.)

And, since I’ve DNF’d Fabelhaven, I have started listening to Prince Caspian, which I REFUSE to refer to as Narnia Book #4. I’m sorry, to me this is still Book #2 (in much the same way that STAR WARS is STAR WARS and not A NEW HOPE). It’s narrated by Lynn Redgrave. I bought the Narnia boxed set of Harper Audio CDs, and I love them all. WELL WORTH a purchase if you like C.S. Lewis’ works and audiobooks.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

Well, I will read the next Girl Genius book at any moment. That one is on my “read in its entirety as soon as I have a whole evening free” pile, because I don’t like stopping half-way through these graphic novels.

EReader-wise, Nozy Cat #1 is still queued up next. Still waiting on me to finish Glitter & Mayhem first. (Ideally I would also finish Wish You Were Here before really getting into Nozy Cat, so that I only have one cat mystery going at a time, but we’ll see.)

I also have a change of plans for my next paper book read. I went to the library on a whim the other day, and they had A Darkness Absolute in stock. (This is the next Casey Duncan novel by Kelley Armstrong.) So I picked it up, but it’s not a renewable books (this copy is in a special “no holds, no renewals” section with other new and popular books) so I have to read it within three weeks. It will be my next paper book.

After that… well, when have you known me to go the library and come home with only one book? So after that I’ll start on one of the other three or four library books I picked up. And then I’ll go back to my personal TBR pile. Which keeps growing. Because I can’t stop going into bookstores, either.

WIP Weds ~ in which I am late with the pictures

Okay, so this was supposed to be published a lot earlier on Wednesday than this… but I didn’t get my WIP pictures taken until lunchtime on Wednesday, so there was a delay. Anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter that much: it’s still Wednesday. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I have been working on the Babette blanket as my TV-knitting (well, crochet). (TV-crochet doesn’t sound as good.)

I think these are all new squares for you. If not, then enjoy the repeats. I’ve decided to throw in a bit of additional color instead of just using blues and greens and purples, so we ended up with a watermelon square from the leftover watermelon sock yarn. That square makes me happy. (The others do too, but I really like that one.)

I’m down to just 6-round and 4-round squares now, so it shouldn’t take me too much longer. Though, I haven’t been blocking the squares (probably a mistake) and so they don’t all end up the same size due to subtle differences in the yarn weight. Some of these will take more finesse with easing them in as I seam up the blanket. Oh well. I knew that was a possible problem when I decided not to block the squares.

I have also been working on the Cats Will Play shawl. Still love the pattern, still love the yarn, not as fond of the row length. I can only get a couple rows done on my lunch break now, instead of finishing several. Oh well, I guess that means I’m getting closer to the end of the project.

Have a great day!

Misc Monday ~ in which we muse about social media

I wasn’t quite sure where to start for this first official Misc Monday, but then I remembered that a friend of mine commented on the introductory one that I should talk about virtual friends and how they’re real friends. And it’s true: I’m sure that all (or at least most) of you have friends you met online who you still consider real friends. You may have never met these people IRL, and so do they still count? I think so. I am in contact more with online friends I have never met in person than just about everyone I went to school with. I won’t even pretend to claim that online friends aren’t real friends.

But then that got me thinking – how do we meet new online friends these days? Twitter, perhaps. Blogs, definitely. Most of the people I know don’t meet new people on Facebook, since they have their privacy settings locked down relatively tightly there. But Instagram? Snapchat? Other new social media options that the kids are using to get away from the formerly-cool sites which their parents now use?

I remember some of the older ones. MySpace is an obvious choice. But did any of you use Plurk? (I know at least one of you did, since that’s where I met the person who suggested this topic.) And how many of you went to school in the era of IRC chatrooms? I met a boyfriend there back in the day. (Yes, we met in person. No, it didn’t end well. And that’s all I’m going to say about it.)

It really makes you think. I had school-sponsored pen-pals in elementary school. Do they still do that anymore? Or if they do, are they online instead of pen and paper? And if that has changed, is it a good thing, or bad? (My answer: change is often a good thing, so it’s probably good. Unless the change is that they no longer do it – it was an amazing experience to communicate with someone in a completely different situation than me, and kids these days need to experience that at least as much as I did.)

Anyway. That’s my initial take on the subject. I may think of more to say on the matter later. What are your thoughts?

Friday Reads ~ in which we take a journey (to the center of the Earth)

There was a little more progress this week, but again I’m spread too thin book-wise to get as much finished as I’d like. (There has also been much more video gaming than is helpful for reading.)

WHAT I READ:

I finished listening to Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth as read by Tim Curry. I went into this one expecting a different listening experience than I got – I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I’ll try. There are some actors who tend to play characters with a certain feel to them, and so we start to associate the actor with that kind of character, that kind of voice. Tim Curry is one of those for me. But for this book, he read it quite… normally. I could hear the inflections I’ve come to expect from him at certain points, but it’s like the difference between a movie and an interview. The actors sound familiar, but not the same.

In any case, I enjoyed the book and the narration. The book was about what I’d expected, and the narration was probably better than I’d expected. A full review will follow later.

WHAT I’M READING:

I’m still reading Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown. I still like it, but there hasn’t been as much paper-book-reading time as normal.

I’m also still reading Glitter & Mayhem. There are more short stories than I expected in this compilation. Great for value, not so great for amount of time required to finish the book. Still, many of these stories are tons of fun.

I’m also technically still reading Nozy Cat #1 by Lyn Key. I haven’t gotten through the first chapter yet, though, because I started reading Glitter & Mayhem before I got very far with Nozy Cat. (No fault of Lyn Key, though. I had wanted to read the short story anthology and was unable to, so I started the cozy cat mystery before I’d planned. Then when G&M became available, I switched back to my original plan.)

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

Once I finish Glitter & Mayhem I will get truly started on Nozy Cat. So that’s really a “read next” instead of a “reading now”. (These are both ebooks. I think I forgot to mention that earlier.)

Also, I’m not sure if my original plan to read Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography will stick or not. I just realized that Kelley Armstrong’s second Rockton book has been released in hardcover now, so if my library has A Darkness Absolute in stock next time I go, I might read that next instead.

And for audio, I will probably start the next Narnia book by C.S. Lewis next. (I’m on Prince Caspian next, since I read them in publication order and not chronological. I’m old-school that way.)

Have a great, book-filled weekend!

WIP Weds ~ socks again

Unlike last week, this week there has been knitting on my Hedera socks. I do still like the knit, both the pattern and the yarn. One thing I especially like about sock knitting is that the rows don’t get tons longer the longer you work on the project. Unlike shawls.

Anyway, here’s the current state of the Hedera socks:


I’m getting close to the point where I can say I’m nearly done with sock #1. And then it will be time to start sock #2. It really is a good thing I like this knit, or I might end up with a single sock.

I have also been working on Babette blanket squares. Here are my latest two squares:


I only have some 6-round squares and some 4-round squares left to crochet before the joining is the only remaining part of this project. I have enjoyed working on it, but I will be SO GLAD to have it finished. Eventually. I’ve stopped looking at the start date and calculating how long it has taken me to do this project. (I’m sure I’ll look again when I finally finish it and write up an FO blog post for the blanket.)

Still, it’s a lot of fun when I can focus on the individual squares and not get overwhelmed by the way this project ended up taking so much longer than I’d originally planned. I had also originally planned to make a second one when this one was done… but that is no longer the plan. I’ll consider crocheting (or knitting) another scrap sock yarn blanket, but it won’t be another Babette. If it took me this long to do blanket #1, I don’t even want to THINK about how long potential blanket #2 would take. I’ll find a different pattern that has the benefit of newness going for it instead.

(Note: do not take this to imply that I dislike the Babette blanket. That is not true. I do like it. But it apparently lacks the ability to hold my interest for too long. Perhaps because the squares are so simple to crochet that I don’t really have to think about them? I had thought that simple squares would make the project easier to finish, but it turns out that projects which are slightly more difficult have a better shot at holding my interest.)

(Another note: I have been knitting on the Cats Will Play shawl, too. But the rows are now long enough that any pictures I took this week would look very similar to the picture I took last week. I may take another picture for next week’s WIP Weds, because there may be enough visible progress again at that point.)

Happy Wednesday!