Friday Reads ~ in which I DNF a classic

Happy Friday! It’s almost the end of April, yikes! (Just two more days to enter my giveaway for journal stuff. Let me know what you’re most looking forward to about May for today’s entry.)

On to the reading…


I can understand why Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is considered a classic novel. It has that feel to it, and there’s no doubt that Jules Verne was an accomplished and imaginative author. However, can I just say how ANNOYING I find Professor Aronnax? He is supposedly a marine biologist, and yet asks some STUPID questions of Captain Nemo, things that a marine biologist should know! Yes, I realize that there are science facts and theories which I take for granted yet were not common (or known at all) at the time of this book’s writing. However, I can’t believe that a marine biologist would be so completely clueless about some aspects of his specific field of study. Argh. Needed to get that rant off my chest. Also, I am BORED with it. I find myself tuning out the book entirely, and only notice things which upset me. (For instance – spoiler – I heard the part about them killing a sea otter. But I have no idea what happened in the few minutes before or after that.) I am done with this book. If I was reading a paper version, I might skim the rest of it. Since this is an audio book, however, I am just DNF’ing it. Yes, Verne writes classics, but this particular one is not for me.

After DNF’ing that one, I started listening to Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. And I loved it. That was much more worth listening to, in my opinion. (Full review is here.) It is well written, well narrated (by Neil Gaiman), and a much more enjoyable topic. Gaiman even makes a description of the end of the world (Ragnarok) fun to listen to.


I’m still reading Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris. I’m over half-way done with it, and have been enjoying it a lot. It’s my lunchtime reading, so I may or may not be done with it by this time next week.

I’m also still reading Kat Among The Pigeons by Lazette Gifford. I’m still planning on reading this one more — but also keep forgetting my tablet. Maybe it will become lunchtime reading once the NPH memoir is done.

And lastly, I just started listening to Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein. It’s another short-ish audio book (about 6 1/2 hours) but it sounds like a fun story so hopefully will be a good choice.


My next audio book will either be The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher or The Great Courses’ The Medieval World, depending on whether I feel like listening to fiction or non-fiction. Both are interesting, so we’ll see which I pick.

For paper books, I’ll be reading one of Seanan McGuire’s books next. I still haven’t decided if I’d prefer the InCryptid series or the October Daye series. But both are fun, so either one should be a good book choice.

Friday Reads ~ in which Audible has a great sale

I am a sucker for audio books. I love how I can multi-task that way. I can read while knitting, or exercising, or driving. Awesome. (Don’t get me wrong, I also knit while reading paper books and magazines, but the audio format makes it much easier.)

And so every now and then, Audible has a sale that I can not resist. The current can-not-resist sale is their “Spring Cleaning Sale,” which is 50% off “sitewide,” and runs until April 24 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. It’s for members only, but if you’re an Audible member and have a wish list a mile long, like I do, you may want to take advantage of it. As they say in their advertisements, it’s “time to clean out your wish list.” I already picked up a few books, but I might go back before the sale ends and buy more.


I finished Murder Past Due, first in the “Cat in the Stacks” cozy cat mystery series by Miranda James. It was really cute and fun, though not necessarily a new must-read series for me. I haven’t even decided yet if I’ll read Book 2 in the series, though I did enjoy Book 1. My full review is here.

I also took a break from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to listen to the audio version of Kevin Hearne’s The Purloined Poodle, which is either #1 in Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries or #8.5 in the Iron Druid Chronicles. Way too much fun! I wasn’t going to buy the audio version, but when this was on Audible’s 50% off sale, so it was too good a deal to pass up. I probably won’t do a full review of it, since it’s so short (just under 3 hours narrated) but it was a LOT of fun.


I’m still on Kat among the Pigeons for my ebook reading. Maybe if I bring my tablet to work for lunch reading, I’ll actually remember that I can read ebooks on a bigger screen than my phone (which is the main reason why it takes me so long to read ebooks).

I’m still listening to the audio book of Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, too. This is a longer book than I always assumed it would be. (I’m not sure why. The other classic adventure novels I’ve read haven’t exactly been short books.) I’m also not sure I can associate with any of the characters, so it’s not easy to get totally absorbed in the story.

And I’m still enjoying the hardback version of NPH’s Choose Your Own Autobiography. I’ve been reading it straight through instead of turning to the pages directed*, so it means there are times when I get confused from hopping from one career/hobby/era to another, but it’s a bunch of fun. And the writing is perfect, both for the person it’s an autobiography of and for the “choose your own adventure” books it’s mimicking.

*If you don’t know what I mean about turning pages, go find one of the old Choose Your Own Adventure books and read that. It will explain better than I can.


I’m pretty sure that Gaiman’s Norse Mythology will be my next audio book. I love hearing him narrate his own work, so that’s the direction I’m leaning for books to listen to.

And I think I’ll go with Midnight Blue-Light Special (the next InCryptid book) by Seanan McGuire for my next paper read. I need a good paranormal paper book to balance out the mystery and non-fiction books I’ve been reading.

Friday Reads ~ in which I am easily distracted

I have a bad habit of starting new things before I finish with the old things. This is true of knitting projects, video games, and even books. (It seems to get worse in the spring. It has always been easier to get distracted in the spring, all the way back to when I was in grade school and focusing on homework was so much less appealing than playing outside when it was nice and sunny again.) So it should come as no surprise that I have not finished any books this week, but have instead started a couple of new ones.


I’m still reading NPH’s Choose Your Own Autobiography. But I am fickle, so I haven’t gotten very far yet.

I also started reading Murder Past Due by Miranda James, first of the “Cat in the Stacks” series of cozy mysteries. So far so good. I’m about half-way through and enjoying it, especially the fact that the cat in question is a Maine Coon. They’re great and super-personable cats.

I’m still working on Kat Among the Pigeons by Lizette Gifford. Still enjoying it. Still forget that I have ebooks to read, and so it still isn’t getting the attention it deserves.

AND I started listening to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. The more I look into Verne’s classic adventure novels, the more I think that I read all of ZERO of them growing up. There may have been a very abridged version of one or two of them which I read, but I’m nearly positive that I never read any of the full works before.


It’s been a while since I’ve read one of my pending Seanan McGuire novels, so I think that’s up next (once I finish the two paper books I’ve got going). Not sure if I will go for the Incryptid or October Daye worlds, though. And I have another Great Courses lecture series (this one on the Medieval world) which I think might be my next audio book. That, or Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. Not positive, though it’s probably going to be one of those two.

For today’s give-away entry (see my post from Monday the 3rd for details) please leave a comment and let me know something you plan to do this weekend. (Or, if you prefer, let me know what you wish you were doing this weekend.) Have a great weekend!

Friday Reads ~ in which nothing much happened

My motivation seems to have fled. Has anyone seen it?

Reading-wise, I haven’t gotten much done. That’s partly because I’ve been working on my magazine pile, and have been going through those and (of the magazines I kept because they look interesting) determining which ones are interesting enough that I’ll actually read them. So not much book reading. Anyway…


I don’t think I finished anything this week. I’m close on the Higgs Boson audio book, but it’s dense and so I haven’t quite completed it yet.


I am still working on the aforementioned Higgs Boson and Beyond Great Courses audio book. It’s fascinating, but I don’t know how much of it I actually get. It makes sense at the time, but I don’t think much of the information will stick. I think I’ll be listening to this one again at a later date and see if I can absorb more of it with a repeat listen.

I am also still reading Choose Your Own Autobiography by NPH. I’ve decided to read it straight through instead of doing it adventure-style and flipping through the pages as directed.

And I’m still on Kat Among the Pigeons in ebook form. I’ve made the most progress on this one this week, because it’s easier for me to read ebooks while I knit than paper books. (No pages to keep track of.)

As far as magazines go, I’m reading a Discovery magazine from… last year? (I didn’t check the date before writing this.) It’s amusing me.


Next paper book will be Murder Past Due, because that’s checked out of the library at the moment. I might actually start it before I finish my current paper book so that I don’t run into trouble with the due date.

And… that’s all I’ve decided on. But I do know that this time my next audio book will be something fun. In a not-going-to-melt-your-brain kind of way. (Because learning about particle physics from an audio book is fun too, just a different kind of fun than I’m talking about right now.) Maybe more Jules Verne. Classic adventure fiction is usually a good romp.


If you want to play along with my journal goodies give-away, just leave me a comment with what you’re currently reading, or want to read next! Details on what I’m giving away are in this past Monday’s blog post. Also, I don’t think I mentioned it yet, but I will ship anywhere, so you can live on the other side of the world and I will still ship to you (if the Random Number Generator picks you).

Friday Reads ~ in which I forgot to post

Oops! One of the problems with scheduling my blog posts ahead of time is that sometimes I forget to get them ready in time. It can be anything: from forgetting to finish the post, forgetting to hit the “schedule” button, or neglecting to write the post entirely. In any case, this is late but IT’S STILL FRIDAY, so here’s what I’ve been reading this week:


I haven’t actually finished reading anything this week. That’s one problem with having both an audio book and a paper book in progress which require a little more attention.


My audio book is still The Higgs Boson and Beyond from the Great Courses lecture series. I’m enjoying this, but it does require focus. This is not car-listening.

I decided that it’s time to read Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris. However, I haven’t decided yet (and haven’t reached the point yet where I need to decide) whether I will read it straight through or in the “choose your own adventure” style where you jump to a page based on a decision made. I’m leaning towards straight through because I always used to miss options when I read the “choose your own adventure” books.

I’m still enjoying Kat Among the Pigeons as well, though my usual eReader speed never makes it seem like I’m enjoying eBooks.


Next on audio might be another Jules Verne. (I know I bought another one on Audible, but at the moment I forget which one.) It also might be Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein, or I might try to finish All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. (That one’s been hibernating since the middle of last year. I got sick of listening to the different messy tasks a vet has to do. It felt more like a warning to future vets than a novel to me.)

I’m planing on reading (or listening to) Bellwether by Connie Willis soon. Maybe next. I haven’t yet decided if I will read the print copy or listen to the audio book.

And my next eBook will still probably be another of Lizette Gifford’s novels, though I still haven’t decided which one. It will be whichever catches my eye when I finish my current eBook.

Friday Reads ~ in which we throw out everything I said last week

So remember all of my predictions for this week that I made last week? Yeah. Now forget them. I certainly did when I was picking my new reads. Anyway, there was still a lot of fun reading happening.


I finished The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun. It’s a great start to the “Cat Who” series! Lots of fun to see how lifelike Koko (the cat) is. I’m going to enjoy reading more in this series, though it’s a LONG series so we’ll see how far I get in it. My full review is here. This is book #2 for my Purrfect Reading Challenge.

I also finished (and started, for that matter) Tuesdays at the Castle (Castle Glower book #1) by Jessica Day George. I love all of her stuff that I’ve read so far, and this one was no exception. I don’t have a full review of it up on my other site yet, but will link to it when I write one.

And I finished the final Narnia book by C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle. It… well. It doesn’t seem to be the same book I read as a child. I have a Misc Monday post in the works which should help explain that.


So, after The Last Battle I said I wanted a “fun” audio book, right? That must be why I just started The Great Courses: The Higgs Boson and Beyond (lecture series I found on Audible) by Professor Sean Carroll. Because nothing says “fun” like the Higgs boson particle.

I haven’t picked out the next paper book yet. My library book selection keeps shuffling around as I discover that I have checked out books I already own (The Ripper Affair) and as new holds arrive (Murder Past Due) and all that jazz. So we’ll see what I actually pick up when I’m ready for my next book.

And I’m still reading Kat Among the Pigeons in eBook format. I might concentrate on this one for a bit before picking out my next paper book, but we’ll see. I really prefer the paper to eBook format, though eBooks undeniably travel better. Hmm. At any rate, Kat has just gone to visit the pigeons, and it looks like things are about to get interesting. (Not that the beginning wasn’t interesting, but there’s a difference between background-set-up-interesting and action-adventure-excitement-interesting.)


Next? Hmm. I can barely decide what I’m reading NOW. I think I’d better hold off on deciding what will come next for a week or two.

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday Reads ~ in which I remember the Cat Who

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Do you have any fun things planned for this holiday? I do, and they are all food-related. For dinner tonight I am making Mr. Wyrm and my favorite stew, the Drunken Irish Stew, though I am making it on the stove-top instead of in a slow-cooker. (It works just as well, you just have to adjust cook times.) I am also making Irish Soda Bread. This will be a first time for this particular soda bread recipe for me – I have one that’s been passed down by a friend which I love, but I want to compare it to other recipes and see if I can pick up any extra tweaks. And then on Sunday, family is coming to visit, and I am going to make corned beef and cabbage for dinner that night. I’ll be trying a new (to me) slow-cooker recipe for that, too, again to see if I can pick up any tweaks to my standard version.

Anyway, enough about food before I make myself hungry. Now on to the books!


I finished listening to The Silver Chair, the 4th of the Chronicles of Narnia. Still love that book. I think it’s my favorite of the series.


I’m still listening to The Last Battle, the final Narnia book. It’s taking a while because I DO NOT LIKE the beginning of this story. I understand why it’s there, but the part with the ape and the lion skin drives me nuts. This time around I’m having one heck of a time getting to the part of the story I like. I might skip ahead, since I know well what happens in the story.

I’m almost-but-not-quite done with The Cat Who Could Read Backwards. This is a lot of fun. I enjoyed reading about Qwill and Koko when they were established friends; reading about how they got to that point is a lot of fun too. I’ve been remembering the feel I liked about this series when I read some of the books (in random order) the first time, and it’s nice to know I still like it.

And I’m still reading Kat Among the Pigeons on my eReader. Still enjoyable, just taking this at my standard slow eBook pace.


Um. Oops. When I swung by the library to drop off books, I accidentally ended up in the Science Fiction / Fantasy section and two more books came home with me. So next up with be either The Ripper Affair (Bannon & Clare #3) or Trailer Park Fae, both by Lilith Saintcrow.

Next eBook will almost certainly be one of Lizette Gifford’s books that I have on my phone. No idea which one, though. I’ll pick among the two or three I have when I finish this one.

For my next audio book, I want to pick something fun. Something I will be able to just plain enjoy, no work required. I’m not sure what that will be. I might see about adding to my Harry Potter audio book collection, and picking up whatever the next in that series is which I don’t have. We’ll see.