Friday Reads ~ in which I change my mind

Today is a bit of a weird day. I have to admit that I’m letting a book hibernate for a while, and it’s a book that I anticipated loving. It feels strange. But, I have stopped reading Endless Blue by Wen Spencer. It just wasn’t catching my attention. So instead of slogging through it and resenting it, I have decided to stop for now and will come back to it later.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not reading anything now! Here’s a look at my week in books.

WHAT I READ

I finished both The Magician’s Nephew and The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. These are the hardest two to fit into the Narnia series, in my opinion, since the others happen in a sequential order and come one after the other. These two that I just finished don’t fit as neatly in the timeline. (I refuse to read Nephew first before The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. It doesn’t belong there for all that it takes place earlier.) And so, I usually end up reading them smushed in among the others with no rhyme or reason. There was a reason this time that I listened to them when I did: there was a problem with my imported copy of The Silver Chair but not with either of these, so I could listen to these two while I dealt with re-importing the other. My review of Horse is here. (I haven’t reviewed the others in the series yet, but I might.)

I haven’t finished any paper books, since I don’t count putting Endless Blue in hibernation as having finished it.

Ebook-wise, I have decided I am done with Nozy Cat #1. I just couldn’t get into it, even with the book shop and cat involved. Having the main character compliment herself on her sensible choice of outfit killed the story for me.

WHAT I’M READING

I started a new eBook: Kat Among the Pigeons by Lazette Gifford. This is one that I’ve had for a long time but never got to because none of my friends were talking it up. I know Lazette from the Forward Motion community for writers, and though we never interacted much it resulted in me buying several of her books. I don’t remember which e-store I bought them from, but they are now on my Kindle app on my phone, and I’m enjoying this one so far.

I’m also still listening to the Narnia audio books. Currently The Silver Chair, which has now been re-imported successfully into my phone.

And for paper books, I have picked up The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lilian Jackson Braun’s first “Cat Who” mystery. I found a bunch of the older “Cat Who” books at my local used book store, so I decided to start at the beginning for Qwill and Koko and see how that goes. (And see when Yum-Yum shows up.)

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

My next eBook is TBD. I have no plans for that, since I have no idea when I will finish the current one. However, since I’m enjoying my current read and I have a few more books by Lazette Gifford on my phone, I’ll probably pick one of them.

My next audio book is more obvious: I’ll finish out the Narnia series with The Last Battle when I’m done with The Silver Chair. After Narnia, though, I have no idea where my audio books will take me.

And my next paper book is also up in the air. I found used copies of the books I had on loan from the library and (in a moment of “I read too slowly for library book deadlines” brought on by being unable to get into Endless Blue) bought them. So the library versions have been returned and I now need to decide if those books are still at the top of the TBR pile now that I don’t have a deadline for getting them finished. I’m leaning toward either starting the next “Cat Who” book after I read book 1, or perhaps reading the NPH memoir (Choose Your Own Autobiography) which I’ve been wanting to read for some time now. (Random thought – is it a memoir or an autobiography? It calls itself an autobiography, but I get the impression that it has more of a memoir feel. Hmm.)

On the other hand, ever since reading “Bad Dream Girl” from Glitter & Mayhem, I’ve been wanting to pick up Seanan McGuire’s next InCryptid book and read that. The good (or bad?) thing is that all three of these book potentials are on my bookshelf upstairs, waiting for me to read them. We’ll have to see which one wins out when the actual time to choose comes.

Friday Reads ~ in which lots of books get finished

So… a lot has happened book-wise since the last update. Are you ready? Then here we go!

Before I go into a recap of my reading for the week, here’s a quick look at how my 2017 Reading Challenge is going. I had said I wanted to read at least 3 new books for every 1 re-read. So, I want my percentage of new books to be 75% or greater. At the moment, it is exactly 75%! I have read 9 new books and 3 books I’ve read before, so I’m right on schedule.

WHAT I READ:

I finished the short story anthology Glitter & Mayhem. It was quite a wild ride, and you can find my full review of it here.

I also finished both Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in audio book form. I didn’t write reviews of either of them, because I’ve read them so many times that I don’t know if I could write a proper review of them. Still, very enjoyable to come back to these stories. And I love the narrations in the Harper Audio CD collection.

And in addition to those three, I finished A Darkness Absolute (Rockton #2) by Kelley Armstrong. She’s still one of my favorite authors, and I greatly enjoyed this book. Full review of it is here, though the short version is that if you enjoyed the first one (City of the Lost) you will probably enjoy this one. Also, they work best if you read them in order.

WHAT I’M READING:

I was planning on listening to The Silver Chair next, because that’s #4 of the Narnia series in my opinion. However, something weird appears to have happened when I imported the CDs into my iTunes library, because only the first two chapters are showing up. Therefore, I started listening to The Magician’s Nephew instead, and will get back to The Silver Chair later.

I have started reading Endless Blue by Wen Spencer for paper books. This is one of the ones I got out of the library with the second Rockton novel, so because the due date is approaching it’s higher up the TBR list than it was before (though it has been on my TBR list for a long time).

And I’m finally working on Nozy Cat #1 by Lyn Key on my eReader. Though as I warned you before, I tend to read very slowly on the eReader, because it’s not my preferred format.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT

The next eBook is unplanned. I have several queued up to read, but due to reading speed on the eReader I’m just going to decide what’s next when I actually get to that point.

The next paper book will be one of the remaining two novels from the library – The Witch and the Dead by Heather Blake or A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas  E. Sniegoski. Probably.

Any my next audio book will probably be The Horse and His Boy from the Narnia series (either #5 or #3, depending on your numbering preference).

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!

Friday Reads ~ in which nothing got finished

Well, there was reading this week. But sadly, not enough to have finished a book. Oh well, there has been progress anyway.

WHAT I READ:

Nothing to completion. Probably because I have been adding books instead of finishing them.

WHAT I’M READING:

I am still reading Rita Mae Brown’s Wish You Were Here. But for the bulk of last week, I didn’t have room in my purse for a paperback, so the book stayed home instead of coming to work to read on my lunch break.

Instead, I tried to read the anthology (in ebook version) Glitter & Mayhem, but I had issues with the ebook being messed up. (I had the Kindle version on my phone, and it wasn’t displaying any text except the intro page.) No one could figure out how to get it to work, but I still wanted to read something, so I moved on to another ebook and Cat Mystery #2 – Lyn Key’s Nozy Cat #1. While I’m not exactly enthralled by the book’s title, I am finding the read enjoyable so far.

And then, I got an email from the Amazon Kindle people, who told me that the issue had been fixed, so I re-downloaded Glitter & Mayhem and started reading that. I’m 4 short stories in so far, and am enjoying the compilation. Some stories make more sense than others (one still has me confused) and I like some more than others (the first story in the set is a 12 Dancing Princesses re-telling, and I LOVE THAT STORY so it gets high marks). That is normal with a short story collection. I’m looking forward to reading more of them and maybe finding some new authors from the set.

But these three books in progress still don’t include an audiobook. So of course I had to start listening to one. I went with Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth as narrated by Tim Curry. So far so good, though I think I won’t be able to listen to this one with as much multi-tasking as is my usual. Some classics require more attention than others, and this is one of the ones that needs a bit of focus.

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

I’ve been missing my Seanan McGuire stories. (That’s why I elected to read Glitter & Mayhem – she has a story in there.) So I think my next book will be either the next October Daye book (I think I’m on Late Eclipses but I couldn’t swear to it) or Midnight Blue-Light Special (the second of the InCryptid books).

As far as audiobooks go, I’ve been eying Fablehaven by Brandon Mull from the library, so that might be next. Or I might continue with my Chronicles of Narnia audiobooks – I bought that set on CD long ago, and ten to listen to them all at least every 2 or 3 years. I listened to the first one again last year, but only the one. I still have 6 more to go.

Have a great weekend! Hard to believe it’s February already…

Friday Reads ~ in which I do a lot of listening

Hi there! It’s time for another look at my current books:

WHAT I READ:

I just finished In Shining Armor by Elliott James, Pax Arcana book #4. It was the audio version, read by Roger Wayne. I really enjoyed it, and the full review is here if you’re interested. I started this one last Friday, shortly after posting last week’s Friday Reads post, and finished it Wednesday morning. For an 11 hour audiobook, that’s not bad. Especially since I do a lot of listening while I do other things (busy work, knitting, etc) and had to rewind a lot because I got too distracted with the other stuff and lost the thread of the story. (Not the story’s fault, nor the narrator’s. Just an occasional side-effect of multi-tasking.)

WHAT I’M READING:

I’m still reading Mrs. Murphy #1, Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown. I’m still enjoying it, but I haven’t had/made much paper book reading time lately. (It’s the Stardew Valley video game time getting in the way again. The past few weeks, instead of reading while I eat dinner, I’ve been gaming.) It’s still a lot of fun. I really like the characters, though I also am looking forward to reading future books in the series when the author has had a chance to grow a little. (This will be book #1 of 10 for my Cay Mystery Reading Challenge.)

WHAT I’LL READ NEXT:

I still think that Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris will be my next book. I’m not going to start reading that until I’ve finished the cat mystery book, though. And I’ve also decided that Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (and narrated by Tim Curry) will be my next audiobook. I’m not sure exactly when I’ll start listening to that one; possibly today, but also possibly not until next week. Sometimes I can move quickly from audiobook to audiobook, but other times it takes me longer.

Are you reading anything fun? I hope you have a great weekend!

Friday Reads ~ in which I remember Shakespeare

Happy Friday! It’s time for a reading update.

Since last week, I have finished (re-)reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s been a looooong time since I’ve read any Shakespeare.I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed it, but also how hard it can be to pick it back up after putting the play down. I didn’t read the whole thing at once – there were a couple of days between reading sessions due to one reason or another – and I found that when picking it back up again I got rather confused as to who was who. The minor characters’ names can get quite similar, and I had to go refresh my memory as to who was who. (I guess in that respect, reading Shakespeare for school is easier – with the study guides, you have a quicker character reference.)

With Midsummer finished, I started Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae (and Sneaky Pie) Brown. (Mrs. Murphy book #1 – and one fun side note, I hadn’t realized before I started the book that Mrs. Murphy was the cat and not the human.) I haven’t gotten very far yet (you know you haven’t gotten far into a mystery novel when you haven’t yet reached the murder) but it’s a cute book to this point. I really like the way the pets interact, for one thing. (That’s a good thing, since I’m reading this one because of the inspiration from the Cat Mystery Reading Challenge.)

I am also planning on starting a new audiobook soon, but I’m not sure what yet. I often listen to an audiobook and read a paper book at the same time. So I’ll likely pick something new to listen to before I finish the first Mrs. Murphy book.

My next paper book will probably be Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris. I meant to read this one last year for the 2016 Reading Challenge, but never got there. (I read two memoirs last year, but counted neither of them toward the memoir category; that’s what the NPH book was going to be. Oh well.) I haven’t committed to this, though. It’s just a “probably”.

I also have two new (to me) Girl Genius graphic novels that I might read concurrently with any or all of the above. They (graphic novels) are involved enough for me to consider them as books, but they are different enough from text-only books that I have no problem with reading them at the same time. I guess this is the same thing as listening to a book before finishing a paper book.

Have a great weekend! Have you read any good books lately?

Friday Reads ~ new for 2017

We’re going to try something new for Friday Reads now that it’s a new year. Previously, I was using my Friday Reads blog posts to post reviews and such. However, that also means that if I had no book to review, I had nothing to post.

Instead, this year, I will be posting every Friday (or nearly) with an update on what I have read, what I am currently reading, and what I hope to read next.

Early this week (or perhaps late last week?) I finished reading (or rather listening to) Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & the Beast by Robin McKinley. A full review is here, but the short version is that I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to readers of all kinds. This is a very traditional Beauty and the Beast, yet with enough fleshing out that it is a full-fledged novel and not just a short fairy tale.

And then more recently I finished listening to The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. That one was very bittersweet, given her passing last month. A full review of that one (read by the author and her daughter) is here. If you have any desire to listen to this one, I highly recommend it. If you want to read the book in some form but don’t have a preference as to format, I’d still suggest listening to it. I LOVE listening to memoirs as read by the author. You know you’re getting exactly the reading they intended.

I also finished reading the book of short stories, Project Elfhome by Wen Spencer. I had read some of these stories before, but not all of them. I did re-read even the ones I’d read before, since I’ve read either one or two more Elfhome books since the initial reading. (Full review is here.) It wasn’t as good as the full-length Elfhome novels, because part of what I love about those is how I get sucked into the world for the duration of the novel. Being short stories, it was harder to get fully immersed in the world. However, it was still very enjoyable and I’ll be happy to add this book to my set of Elfhome novels.

At the moment, I am currently reading Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is slow going at the moment because I’m reading it for story research and not just for pleasure. I’ve read it before (at least once) and have seen the play performed as well, so there are no surprises for me in the plot.

And next, once I have finished Midsummer, I intend to read Wish You Were Here, the first book in Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy series. That’s a cozy mystery series I’ve known of for a while, but never really considered reading until I joined the 2017 Purrfect Mystery Challenge, and committed to reading 10 cozy mystery novels that featured cats. I’m really looking forward to that one.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy your current reads!