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archerygirl scales Mount TBR in 2018 (1)

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 11:26am Top

Hello! I'm Kathy and I'm returning for my seventh year (possibly, I lost count - edited to add: EIGHTH, WOW) in the 75 books group! I'm still attempting to get Mount TBR to shrink, but it seems to be a losing battle. Despite smashing the 75 books goal last year, Mount TBR grew. This is probably because even though my acquired list was shorter than my books read list, a lot of the books I read came from the library. I really must make a better effort at reading from my own shelves!

Although that might be tough, because my books are going to spend a couple of months on a ship this year. I'm moving from Canada to England in the summer, which is going to impact my reading in some way I can't predict. Either I'll retreat into the comfort of fiction a lot more, or I'll be too busy to read. I'll try to keep my thread here up to date, but if I suddenly disappear, I tweet a lot. On @stompydragons, I sporadically talk about IT, writing and books. On @ selenay I'm much more chatty and likely to talk about what I'm actually up to (among all the memes, political RTs, IT, and book chat). If you're a tweeter, say hello on whichever account is your speed :-)

I primarily read SFF and romance, with more fantasy appearing in my SFF reading and more historicals in my romance. I try to keep up with current SFF as well as reading older books, because I'm a Hugo voter, but there still tends to be a mad dash in the middle of the year to read that list as thoroughly as possible.

My romance tastes tend more towards historicals, although I'm also a bit of a Jenny Colgan fan, too. I read all flavours - het, f/f, and m/m - and all heat levels.

I hope to do a read of Robin Hobb Farseer books with Heather (anyone else who wants to join in, raise your hand and we'll try to set up a group read), but I try to keep my reading fairly unplanned apart from that. Hopefully I'll make it to 75 books, but I'm not promising more than that with the big move happening.

When I'm not reading, I watch TV (OMG, the Thirteenth Doctor is coming), write novels that will hopefully be published one day, and work as a computer programmer. My reading is regularly hindered by the Reading Prevention Team: Annie and Kate, my ridiculous cats who love to sit on any book I'm trying to read.

I leave you with a photo from last year's trip to Helsinki. No, I don't know why there was a rainbow sea lion, but when you see a rainbow sea lion, you take a photo :-)

Edited: Jul 28, 4:48am Top

Books read 2018:

1. Among the Mad - Jacqueline Winspear
2. An Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole
3. The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson
4. Beneath the Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire

5. Provenance - Ann Leckie
6. Jade City - Fonda Lee
7. Sparks Fly - Llinos Cathryn Thomas
8. Knit One, Girl Two - Shira Glassman
9. Mr Churchill's Secretary - Susan Ella MacNeal
10. The Masked City - Genevieve Cogman

11. The Rogue Not Taken - Sarah MacLean
12. Git Pocket Guide - Richard E. Silverman
13. Once Upon a Haunted Moor - Harper Fox
14. Career of Evil - Robert Galbraith
15. Royal Assassin - Robin Hobb

16. The Night Masquerade - Nnedi Okorafor
17. Stone Mad - Elizabeth Bear
18. Spectred Isle - KJ Charles
19. The Covert Captain - Jeanelle M. Ferreira
20. Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling
21. Tinsel Fish - Harper Fox
22. New York 2140 - Kim Stanley Robinson
23. Just Henry - Michelle Magorian
24. Final Girls - Mira Grant

25. After the Wedding - Courtney Milan
26. Tempests and Slaughter - Tamora Pierce
27. Doctor Who: The day she saved the Doctor: four stories from the Tardis - Jenny T Colgan
28. Waistcoats and Weaponry - Gail Carriger

29. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows - Balli Kaur Jaswal
30. Space Opera - Catherynne M Valente
31. Manners and Mutiny - Gail Carriger
32. Death of a Gossip - M. C. Beaton
33. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Abertalli
34. Leah on the Off Beat - Becky Abertalli

35. In Other Lands - Sarah Rees Brennan
36. Unmasked by the Marquess - Cat Sebastian
37. The Calculating Stars - Mary Robinette Kowal
38. That Could be Enough - Alyssa Cole
39. The Pursuit Of... - Courtney Milan
40. The Widows of Malabar Hill - Sujata Massey
42. Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery - Jenny Colgan
43. A Gentleman Never Keeps Score - Cat Sebastian

I'm on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8605160-katherine

And my GR challenge for the year is here: https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/7501-2018-reading-challenge

Edited: Jul 28, 4:41am Top

Books acquired 2018:

1. Beneath the Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire
2. Binti: The Night Masquerade - Nnedi Okorafor

3. Sparks Fly - Llinos Cathryn Thomas
4. Knit One, Girl Two - Shira Glassman
5. The Rogue Not Taken - Sarah MacLean
6. The Paper Magician - Charlie N. Holmbery
7. Princess Elizabeth's Spy - Susan Ella MacNeal
8. Git Pocket Guide: A Working Introduction - Richard E. Silverman
9. Saint Peter's Fair - Ellis Peters

10. Royal Assassin - Robin Hobb
11. Stone Mad - Elizabeth Bear
12. Tinsel Fish - Harper Fox
13. The Covert Captain: Or, A Marriage of Equals - Jeanelle M. Ferreira

14. Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente
15. Tempests and Slaughter - Tamora Pierce
16. Unmasked by the Marquess - Cat Sebastian
17. After the Wedding - Courtney Milan

18. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli
19. Lean on the Offbeat - Becky Albertalli
20. The Henchmen of Zenda - KJ Charles
21. Doctor Who: The Day She Saved the Doctor - Jenny T Colgan

22. Soulless - Gail Carriger
23. Prudence - Gail Carriger
24. That Could Be Enough - Alyssa Cole

25. * The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
26. The Calculating Stars - Mary Robinette Kowal
27. * 365 Devotions for Hope - Karen Whiting
28. * Hand Drawn Halifax - Emma Fitzgerald
29. Cinnamon Blade - Shira Glassman
30. The Pursuit Of... - Courtney Milan
31. The Virgin in the Ice - Ellis Peters
32. The Pilgrim of Hate - Ellis Peters
33. A Gentleman Never Keeps Score Cat Sebastian
34. The Cafe By The Sea - Jenny Colgan
35. A Scot in the Dark - Sarah MacLean
36. The Endless Beach - Jenny Colgan

italics denotes dead tree books
* denotes books that were gifts or free sales


29 Kindle books
7 dead tree books
3 free/gift book

Edited: Jan 1, 11:51am Top

Top reads from 2017:

In no particular order (I gave up on restricting it to five):

Brilliant Bread - James Morton
A Closed and Common Orbit - Becky Chambers
Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire
The Stone Sky - NK Jemisin
The Ruin of a Rake - Cat Sebastian
All Systems Red - Martha Wells
Romancing the Werewolf - Gail Carriger

Dec 29, 2017, 11:04am Top

Welcome back!

Dec 29, 2017, 11:16am Top

Dropping off a star, Kathy. Looking forward to keeping up with all your 2018 adventures.

Dec 29, 2017, 11:27am Top

>5 drneutron: Thank you! And thank you for setting up the group for another year.

>6 MickyFine: I think "adventure" is definitely going to be the way to describe 2018!

Dec 29, 2017, 11:28am Top

Starrrrrrred, for four reasons: 1) It's you, of course I'm starring! 2) You're moving to England, and I LIVE THERE! 3) Reading Prevention Team, hehe, and 4) RAINBOW SEA LION OMG YES.

Looking forward to sharing the ride! :)

Dec 29, 2017, 11:38am Top

>8 elliepotten: *glomps* Hello! I'm moving to England! I'll be within train distance of the Peak District! I'm so excited! :-D

I really must post photos of the Reading Prevention Team. They're ridiculous. Kate firmly believes I can READ THROUGH HER HEAD or something.

I saw so many awesome things in Helsinki. But the rainbow sea lion is my favourite :-D

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 1:26pm Top

>9 archerygirl: Where are you moving to? Roughly, obviously. :)

The rainbow sea lion is a stroke of genius - though I feel sad for the poor little fish. NO RAINBOW COLOURS FOR YOU, LIL FISHIE.

And yes. Yes, you must. I think I'm going to post a picture of me and Domino (fat fluffy black and white cat, affectionately known as 'Flufflepuff') to ring in the New Year. Scare a few folks on the thread, haha.

Dec 29, 2017, 1:54pm Top

>10 elliepotten: Home Counties, down in the South East :-) It's where I lived before I moved to Canada so it's going to be weird and strange and familiar all at once!

Maybe the fish didn't want to be a rainbow? Although why anyone wouldn't want to be a rainbow is beyond me.

Heh, a New Year photoshoot with cats could be a plan. If I can get the Kate half of the Reading Prevention Team to sit still for long enough. She scarpers the moment she sees a camera or phone pointed towards her. Awful creature :-D

Dec 29, 2017, 2:50pm Top

Hello hello hello have a *

Dec 29, 2017, 10:11pm Top

Hope 2018 is filled with good reads! That's quite a move you are making.

Dec 30, 2017, 4:27am Top

Nice! I've got a couple of friends down in Darling Buds of May country, and there's a hedgehog and wildlife hospital in Buckinghamshire that I looooove. They have gardens and viewing areas and all sorts now, it's the cutest place ever. AND A HEDGEHOG MUSEUM. And there are red kites down there, all very majestic.

New Year's cat photoshoot it is then! Might end up being via Snapchat for me, the camera focusses better on there for some reason - but either way, I'll get 'em up on my thread on New Year's Day! Richard will hate it, but eh, I think the cat ladies of LibraryThing outnumber him anyway. :P

Dec 30, 2017, 10:12am Top

Hedgehog Museum? That sounds interesting...

Dec 30, 2017, 9:58pm Top

>14 elliepotten: Heh, I'll be in Buckinghamshire! I never went to St Tiggywinkles when I lived there, but clearly I need to fix that oversight when I move back. There are so many things on my list of things I want to do!

I've missed seeing the red kites when I'm out walking.

New Year's photoshoot is on. Richard is definitely outnumbered :-)

>13 thornton37814: It definitely feels big every time I look at my spreadsheets!

Dec 31, 2017, 11:59am Top

Happy reading in 2018, Katherine!

Dec 31, 2017, 12:21pm Top

Happy New Year! I wish you to read many good books in 2018.

Dec 31, 2017, 4:22pm Top

Happy New Year🎉

Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 8:12pm Top

>16 archerygirl: YOU KNOW ST TIGGYWINKLES, YESSSSS. I've been supporting them since I was a little girl, I used to make little newsletters and stuff and sell them at school for, like, 10p. And we 'adopted an animal' each year, it was wonderful. It's grown so much since then, and their visitor experience is really adorable if you get chance to go. :)

P.S. Cat pics arriving shortly... when it's not 1am... HAPPY NEW YEAR UNTIL THEN!

Jan 1, 12:21am Top

Dropping off a
And wishing you

Jan 1, 3:48am Top

Happy New Year
Happy New Group here
This place is full of friends
I hope it never ends
It brew of erudition and good cheer.

Jan 1, 11:44am Top

>17 FAMeulstee: Thank you! 2018 is going to be a good reading year, I'm sure.

>18 The_Hibernator: Thank you! There are going to be a lot of good books in 2018, I feel.

>19 BBGirl55: Happy New Year! 🎉

>20 elliepotten: You grow up not far from St Tiggywinkles, you learn about them :-) OMG, newsletters and everything - that's ADORABLE. I'm going to make a point of getting to their visitor centre, it sounds brilliant. Cat photos will happen soon - they're both asleep right now, so I need to sneak up and photograph them before they notice. Kate runs away from cameras/phones *weeps*

>21 ronincats: A star! Yay! Happy New Year :-)

>22 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul, that's lovely.

Jan 1, 11:50am Top

I've set up my GoodReads 2018 tracker: https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/7501-2018-reading-challenge

And now I'm trying to decide on my top reads from 2017, which is really hard.


In no particular order (I gave up on restricting it to five):

Brilliant Bread - James Morton
A Closed and Common Orbit - Becky Chambers
Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire
The Stone Sky - NK Jemisin
The Ruin of a Rake - Cat Sebastian
All Systems Red - Martha Wells
Romancing the Werewolf - Gail Carriger

Edited: Jan 1, 1:10pm Top

Jan 1, 1:08pm Top

>23 archerygirl: MY CAT PHOTOS ARE UP. For awwww-ing and LOL-ing in equal measure, probably.

Jan 1, 1:30pm Top

>25 rosylibrarian: Thank you!

>26 elliepotten: I AM GOING THERE DIRECTLY. As soon as I've finished posting these :-)

Annie cat, sleepy and adorable. Usually she poses for photos, but today she's clearly far too lazy for that much effort.

A rare sighting of a Kate at rest. Most of my photos of her just about catch her tail as she disappears. I was sneaky and crept up on her :-)

Edited: Jan 1, 3:32pm Top

Looking forward to getting hit by many book bullets on your thread Kathy!

>11 archerygirl:, >14 elliepotten: Meetups ahoy - I grew up in Hertfordshire but am currently in Bedfordshire (because it's cheaper). St Tiggywinkles is fab - although I haven't been for ages.

>27 archerygirl: Very cute! I do have to creep up on Erica if I want a photo of her looking anything other than grumpy about having her picture taken....

Also looking forward to the Farseer read!

Jan 1, 3:40pm Top

>28 souloftherose: *polishes rhe bullets* Do I sense a LibraryThing trip to St Tiggywinkles?

I shall keep an eye out for you reading Assassin's Apprentice and then the Farseer read is ON!

Jan 1, 4:10pm Top

Happy New Year and happy new thread!

Jan 1, 4:11pm Top

Happy New Year, Kathy! May you have some great reads in 2018.

The Farseer read sounds great! Will you be reading the Liveship Traders and Rain Wild Chronicles books too, or only the books focused on Fitz?

Jan 1, 11:57pm Top

>27 archerygirl: I have three in very similar positions to those two at the moment!

Jan 2, 2:46pm Top

>30 foggidawn: Thank you!

>31 kgodey: I think that depends a lot on how long it takes us to get through Farseer :-) It would be great to read everything through the year - we'll just have to see how time works out!

>32 thornton37814: Cats do tend to like those positions :-)

Jan 2, 3:00pm Top

Your fur babies are adorable, Kathy!

Jan 2, 3:29pm Top

Cute cats!!

Jan 2, 5:24pm Top

>34 MickyFine: They're pretty great :-)

>35 norabelle414: Thank you! I regularly point out to them that it's a good thing they're cute, otherwise...

I have no idea what Annie was up to this evening, but it sounded like a herd of elephants running around.

Jan 3, 1:31pm Top

Happy New Year Kathy! Ooh, a Farseer read; I've been looking at buying the books to complete my collection, but I have to read a couple of the ones I have got (in the Rain Wild series). Maybe I'll join you.

Jan 3, 2:15pm Top

>37 humouress: The more the merrier!

Jan 3, 4:02pm Top

Hi Kathy! Moving to England?! Oooh, how exciting!
Just a random thought whilst passing through...how did you become a Hugo voter? I'm just kind of curious how one ends up in such an enviable position of power!!

Edited: Jan 4, 1:12am Top

Hi, Kathy. Dropping a star here!

How exciting moving to England!

Kate looks just like our Picasso. And Annie reminds me a lot of my cat, Holly, who is sadly no longer with us.

Way too long to wait until the next season of Doctor Who. The Christmas episode was fantastic and I will miss Peter Capaldi. It always happens - I never think I'm going to like the new Doctor, but when they leave I miss them terribly.

Jan 4, 9:06am Top

>39 HanGerg: Becoming a Hugo voter a lot less glamorous than it sounds. If you're a supporting or attending member of this year's Worldcon, your membership comes with full Hugo voting rights. That includes access to the voter's packet, which usually contains electronic versions of a lot (if not most) of the nominated works. This year's Worldcon is in San Jose, but if you're not going to be there, a supporting membership is good value and gives you everything except the right to physically attend the con.

Membership also gives you nominating rights for next year's Hugos. You need to be a member of most recent past Worldcon or the current Worldcon by December 31st for that.

Way less elitist than it sounds :-) If you're interested and have some cash around, you should totally get a supporting membership to to San Jose. Although once you've started, it's hard to resist the temptation to be a Hugo voter every year!

>40 rretzler: Cats are great, aren't they?

September seems way too far away, although on the plus side, I'll be in England by then so I can watch it before the USA gets it :-) I always start out being uncertain about a Doctor and then miss them horribly when they leave. I think Jodie is the Doctor I've been most excited about since we got the news the show was returning, though, so I don't know what I'll be like when her time inevitably ends!

Jan 4, 7:00pm Top

Happy New Year!

Jan 5, 8:47am Top

>42 quondame: Happy New Year!

I got hit by that monster storm that was tracking up the East Coast. All our precipitation was rain, but the wind was incredible, worse than Christmas Day.

My office had to close at noon yesterday because the power went out. I didn't mind going home early (before the worst of the storm hit) *at all* because the drive would have been so much worse later. I kept the power at the house all day but it went out overnight.

This morning, my office has power so I'm at work where it's warm and there is coffee. Everyone cross your fingers that my power will be back by the time I go home? If it's not, I'll be decamping to...somewhere...with the cats, because the temps are dropping sharply and I can't stay there overnight with no heating :-(

I'm not going to miss this part of living here AT ALL.

Jan 5, 1:13pm Top

Crossing all appendages for you, Kathy. Hopefully things are roasty toasty when you get home.

Jan 5, 1:35pm Top

>44 MickyFine: According to the map, my power is still out but due to be restored "by 11.30pm tonight", which is better than other places. I'm here at work for another couple of hours so I'm hoping it'll be back by then. I have found places for me and the cats should we need to spend the night elsewhere, thankfully.

Jan 5, 2:41pm Top

>45 archerygirl: Huzzah! Stay cozy!

Jan 5, 3:14pm Top

>43 archerygirl: Best wishes for better weather. I am such a climate wimp that I have neglected job opportunities to stay sessile in southern California. Of course, I'm off for four days in the local mountains next week.

Jan 5, 5:17pm Top

>27 archerygirl: Awwwwwwww! Totally worth the wait. As feline reading buddies always are. :D

>28 souloftherose: Another one in the know, brilliant. Normally no one I speak to has ever heard of it! They're just like, "Oh yeah, that hedgehog thing." Heathens.

>37 humouress: That Neil Gaiman quote made me strangely tearful, for some reason. What a nice man he is.

>43 archerygirl: You okay? Did you either get your power back or get somewhere safe? Brrrrr, hurry up and move here - nothing worse than a lot of bluster and a smattering of sleet right now. :)

Jan 5, 5:27pm Top

Hope you are somewhere nice and warm and cosy Kathy! One of the definite pluses of living in England is that the weather never gets that extreme, although you'd never guess it from the amount people moan about it!
So, I've checked out the World Con thing, but I'm confused. Shouldn't I have joined by December 31st if I wanted to vote? Or is that just nominating? I see with interest that next year's World Con is much closer to me, in Dublin. Now, THAT might be a fun trip! Especially as I see they have talks by academics on SF novels. It's probably just terrible ignorance on my part but I thought all SF conventions were just people in cos play gear queuing to gush effusively over a guy who played ambassador's bodyguard no.2 in Babylon 5 or something (don't get me wrong. I love Babylon 5, but still...)

Jan 6, 7:53am Top

Yikes! It sounds like it hit you guys worse up there than it did down here. We got snow, but we never lost power. Stay safe!

Jan 7, 3:19pm Top

>46 MickyFine: I love having heating and lights and being cozy. LOVE IT.

>47 quondame: I don't blame you for staying somewhere with fairly unexciting weather!

>48 elliepotten: I'm okay! I had arrangements in place to pack up the cats and stay with my aunt if the power didn't come back (she sounded *thrilled*...not) but the power came back about five minutes before I got home from work. Seeing my outside light shining brightly was possibly the highlight of my 2018 so far! If I could hop on a plane to come back tomorrow, I would. So glad this is my last winter here!

>49 HanGerg: To nominate, you need to have joined by December 31st. To vote, you've usually got until a few days before the Hugo voting period closes, which is some time in July. So you've got time, unless you were desperate to nominate! I'm planning to be at Worldcon in Dublin and I highly recommend it. Conventions come in all flavours. There are cons which do focus on cosplay or people gushing at actors from SF shows, but ones like Worldcon are much more focused on the literary side of the genre. There are panels on everything from the silly to the very serious, an academic track where people present papers on all sorts of bookish stuff, tracks about space and science, an astronaut or two, awards ceremonies, and hours of parties and filking. There's also usually a great program of activities for kids. I've been two Woldcon twice so far and loved it both times.

>50 rosylibrarian: I think the problem is that our province doesn't bury our power lines, so when we get hit with storms like this, the power goes out. Every time. The same storm can hit somewhere like Massachusetts and they'll barely get a flicker, but our power just...dies. The part that frustrated a lot of people was that the power cuts began before the storm even arrived! Apparently there was salt on the lines. Argh. They did get power restored much faster than they did last week, though. They'd brought crews in from Quebec before the storm arrived, so it only took two days to reconnect people instead of almost a week. Considering how cold it is right now, that's a very good thing.

I still haven't finished a book yet this year. I was busy taking Christmas decorations down yesterday and removing all the lights from my pre-lit tree so I can pack it to take to England. The tree itself is gorgeous and quite expensive (and new last year), so I didn't want to throw it out or give it away. Instead I spent five hours removing the lights and now it's a gorgeous non-lit tree that can go to England and be draped with lights that can handle UK voltages.

This afternoon, I've done my weekly Skype with the UK family and now I'm going to settle in and finally finish a book.

I opted to drown out the storm on Thursday with a lot of telly and then I was at work when there was no power. Hence the lack of reading despite a stonking great storm!

Jan 7, 10:43pm Top

The Farseer books are the best! Good luck with your weather!

Jan 7, 11:30pm Top

>51 archerygirl: Seeing my outside light shining brightly reminds me of a bit from L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle.

I wish they did WorldCons on this side of the world. In the last couple of years, Singapore has introduced a Cosplay event but I want to go for the books and the authors.

Jan 8, 7:02am Top

>52 Kassilem: Thanks!

>53 humouress: It's hard getting Worldcon out of North America a lot of the time. Getting it to Helsinki last year was a rare venture into a non-English speaking country *sigh* The previous venture was Japan in 2007. There is a bid right now for Worldcon to be in New Zealand in 2020. That will be voted on this year and there isn't a competing bid right now, so there's a good chance that will happen. A lot of people are trying to make Worldcon a less North America-centric event, but it relies a lot on local groups being having the willpower and resources to bid for hosting it.

Jan 8, 1:42pm Top

>29 archerygirl: 'Do I sense a LibraryThing trip to St Tiggywinkles?'

Ooh, yes!

>41 archerygirl: I'm always tempted by the idea of becoming a Hugo voter but worried that in practice reading things by a deadline would end up feeling like a chore. Although, now you have me considering it - maybe I should wait and see what gets shortlisted and then decide how much I want to read the shortlist!

>49 HanGerg: Do I sense the possibility of a 2019 LT Worldcon meetup in Dublin?! I would definitely be up for that :-D

>51 archerygirl: Glad heating and lighting came back!

So, Farseer read - I guess two questions:

(1) Do we want to read all the Elderlings books (including Liveship Traders and Rain Wild Chronicles) or just the Fitz books (which I think is 3 trilogies)?

(2) How often do we want to read them? Monthly or less frequently (every other month, quarterly)?

My personal preferences would be (1) Everything! and (2) Monthly (because I am already impatient to start Royal Assassin) but am quite happy to go along with whatever other people prefer.

Jan 8, 1:56pm Top

>55 souloftherose: Farseer read?

Jan 8, 2:48pm Top

>55 souloftherose: I think we definitely need to arrange a 2019 LT Worldcon meetup in Dublin :-D

If you're on the fence, it's a good idea to wait until the shortlist is available and then make a decision about how likely you are to actually read the shortlist. I tend to tackle it as more of a challenge than a burden. Maybe we could create a "read the Hugos" thing here, to keep ourselves entertained and motivated if a few of us are doing it?

On the Farseer read:

(1) Reading all of them sounds good to me. It would stretch over longer than a year at that rate, I think, but I'm more than happy for that to be the case.

(2) My preference would be every other month, because I've got so many other things on my plate this year, but if the majority would prefer monthly then I can make that work :-)

Jan 8, 8:07pm Top

So glad you got your heating and lighting back.

Just to let you know there is a vote going on over on my thread.

Jan 9, 6:56am Top

>58 BBGirl55: And votes!


My first book for 2018 and it was a pretty good one :-)

1. Among the Mad - Jacqueline Winspear
This is number six in the Maisie Dobbs series, so probably not the best jumping on spot for new Maisie readers, and I enjoyed it far more than I expected to at the beginning. As usual there are ties back to WWI, this time to the work done on gas attacks, and Maisie uses her skills and insights to understand the people involved. I enjoy this series for the characters as much as the plot, and the way the characters grow and develop. Not just Maisie, but Billy and his family, and themes around the way mental health was treated in the early 1930s are woven through this book from multiple angles. A solid entry and now I'm intrigued about where the next book will take us.

Jan 9, 9:09am Top

Hello, fellow Hugo voter! I'd definitely participate in a "read the Hugos" thread if there's interest, and count me in for the Farseer read as well - I read up to the middle of the third trilogy a long time ago, and have been keen to have a reason to reread and then continue from where I got to. I remember the Liveship Trader books being my favourite at the time (so would vote against skipping them!) although I suspect my tastes have changed quite a bit in the last 18 years...

Jan 9, 1:25pm Top

>60 Arifel: Hello! It's starting to sound like we're going for a full read/reread, no matter what the schedule is! There'a few people who are interested, so I guess Heather and I need to start figuring out what we're doing :-)

When the shortlist is out, I'll look into setting up a Hugo reading thread. I know there are a few of us around and it's good to do it in company :-)

Jan 9, 3:29pm Top

Huzzah for the return of electricity and the first finished book of the year. I've been meaning to try Maisie Dobbs for years but haven't actually put her on The List. Guess I should fix that. :)

Jan 9, 3:35pm Top

Seconding >62 MickyFine: - hurray for electricity (and warmth, and light, and all those things), and DOUBLE hurray for a finished book! :D

Jan 9, 4:43pm Top

Oooh, this is exciting!! Yes. Let's definitely do a "Read the Hugos" thread, and a trip to World Con/LT meet up in Dublin is beginning to sound mighty tempting too! The fact that it doesn't often venture out of North America makes it sound like an opportunity not to be missed.

Jan 10, 9:14am Top

Thanks for voting. Please go vote again there was a tie.

Jan 10, 11:28am Top

>62 MickyFine: You should, I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs books a lot and I hope you would, too :-) Best to start at the beginning, I think, if you want to see all the great character development.

>63 elliepotten: Electricity and heat and light are THE BEST. A finished book felt so good! I might even have another by the end of the week! I'm trying something radical and actually *taking my full lunch break*, which has increased my reading time. I even experimented with *leaving work on time* last night.

And then faffed about on Lynda.com because I'm an utter nerd and there's so many things I want to learn. But the point is, I'm trying out this whole "not working silly hours" thing and it's magically increasing my reading rate :-D

>64 HanGerg: If Worldcon lands within a reasonable distance if your country, it's vital to go. Getting it outside North America isn't easy. There are groups plotting and planning and forming bids to make it happen more often (there's a group plotting a UK 2024 bid and another plotting a Paris 2023 bid), but it's rare enough to make me excited each time it happens and Worldcon is great if you're an SFF book nerd.

I'll keep an eye out for the Hugo nominations announcement and set up a thread when it happens. They're indicating it will be early April, so fingers crossed it's *very* early April to give us maximum reading time.

>65 BBGirl55: Hopping over there now!

Jan 10, 9:25pm Top

>59 archerygirl: Kathy, I too am a Maisy fan. I think for the most part the books are getting better and better. There were a couple in the middle that maybe weren't quite as good, but overall I enjoy the series. I'm currently waiting for the one that will be out later this year.

>55 souloftherose: I am also tempted to become a voter - but in practice, I'm not sure I would be able get everything read that I needed to. One of these days, maybe.

>62 MickyFine: Mickey, I really enjoy the series now, but I almost quit after the first book or two. The first book had some elements that seemed a little strange to me, but the second was better, so I stuck with it. I think I was hooked after the third.

Jan 11, 12:23am Top

>55 souloftherose: and >67 rretzler: you don't have to read every category to be a voter, although the culture of the award is such that you're expected to make an effort to familiarise yourself with everything in one category before voting in it (as opposed to something like Goodreads Choice, where its accepted that everyone is just voting for their favourites). That said, I can understand the hesitation! Even the reading in some of the individual categories can be a commitment, especially if nominated books are sequels and/or particularly long (I'm looking at you, Seveneves) and the less said about the new best series category, the better...

Hopefully a Hugo readalong group will be useful as a trial run for people who aren't sure if they want to commit?

Jan 11, 7:46am Top

>67 rretzler: As Adri said, you don't have to vote in every category. I rarely do! It's encouraged to read widely in the categories you do vote in, so you can judge fairly, but that's about it. I find it's pretty easy to do that for the shorter fiction categories and for the art categories. Novel is a little more challenging sometimes, particularly if half of them are book 2 or 3 in a series, but I usually set myself a "read a minimum of X pages if you're not getting on with it and then move on" goal, so that I've at least tried a novel without using up all my reading time on one enormous tome I don't particularly like (looking at you, Seveneves).

>68 Arifel: I liked the series category last year, although it probably helped that only two of the nominated series were unfamiliar to me! I'm hoping it might reduce the number of times book 15 of a series (argh, SKIN GAME!) gets nominated in the novel category. I'll see how I feel this year, now that some of the more well known series have been knocked out of the running by being nominated last year.

I was reading along with the Hugos before I even started voting and I'm hoping the readalong will be a fun place for people who aren't planning to vote to find out what kind of things are available (and what tactics people use to get through the list when they are planning to vote!). Maybe some people will read along next year and then decide to commit to voting next year!

After all, anyone planning to come to Dublin 2019 will have Hugo voting rights anyway...

Jan 12, 7:47am Top

I finished a book. And it was a good one.

2. An Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole
If you're looking for good diverse historical romance, you definitely need this book. It's set during the American Civil War and feature's a black woman posing as a slave to spy on Confederate senators and Pinkerton detective posing as a Rebel soldier to spy on Confederate senators. So definitely not your usual Regency dukes type of histrom! Which is in itself refreshing. And because both characters are strong, resourceful characters, free people doing their jobs as spies, this doesn't have any of the power imbalance issues that I've seen around histrom books set in this era between a black woman and a white man. I adored Elle. She's snarky, brave, and brilliant. I could completely understand and believe in the relationship between her and Malcolm. They match each other so well and I wanted them to find their way together. There are a few high heat sections, so people looking for something with no on-page sex might want to be aware, but every scene and chapter moved the story forward in some way. There was never a sense that the story was being paused for the obligatory sex, it was integral to understanding these people and their relationship. I loved it and I'll be hunting down the next in the series.

Jan 12, 11:42pm Top

>68 Arifel: I'd definitely be up for a Hugo readalong group. I'm currently trying to read my way through the Hugo and Nebula winners. I'm only reading a few a year right now, because I've got so many other things on my TBR pile, but I'm always willing to rearrange, and a Hugo readalong group sounds fun!

I wish it were Dublin, Ohio and not Dublin, Ireland!!

Jan 14, 11:41am Top

>56 quondame: We're planning on a read of Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy but starting with the second book, Royal Assassin (as we've both just read Assassin's Apprentice. Anyone's welcome! Probably going on to read all of the Elderlings books and series.

>57 archerygirl: Re Farseer, every other month would work for me. Shall we pencil in Royal Assassin for March? Then if people want to join in but haven't read Assassin's Apprentice yet they have a bit of time to catch up.

>59 archerygirl: Huzzah for finishing a book!

>60 Arifel: The more the merrier! And a Hugo readalong also sounds good!

>68 Arifel:, >69 archerygirl: Thanks for the encouragement on the Hugo voting - I am increasingly tempted (plus I've read The Stone Sky and that has to be on the nominations list). I'd also like to try to read the shortlists for the Clarke and/or BSFA awards just so I don't get too US focused (but that's quite a commitment so maybe not).

>70 archerygirl: That one sounds fun - added to the long TBR list.

Jan 15, 10:13am Top

>71 rretzler: It's so rare to get Worldcon outside the USA that all the non-US folks are very excited about Dublin, Ireland :-D Not so good for Dublin, Ohio folks, I'll admit...

>72 souloftherose: Royal Assassin for March sounds like an excellent plan! That gives everyone time to catch up with us :-) Should we start an organising thread to let people know it's happening and our vague-ish timetable?

It'll be interesting to see what the shortlist looks like this year. The people who were at last year's Worldcon (in Finland) can nominate for this year's, so the list might not be as US-centric as it can be. Maybe you could look at the Clarke and/or BSFA to see how much overlap there is and what kind of commitment you'd be looking at if you read one of those with the Hugos? After all, you'll be joining us on the fun Hugo journey :-D

Jan 16, 4:32am Top

>73 archerygirl: March it is! I think a thread would be a good idea as quite a few people have expressed an interest. I should be able to get one set up later today.

Jan 16, 7:35am Top

>74 souloftherose: Brilliant! :-)

Jan 16, 12:03pm Top

General group read thread for the Robin Hobb Realm of the Elderlings series has been setup!


Jan 16, 11:26pm Top

I love Robin Hobb's books but I just reread her series not too long ago. It's been a while since I touched the Ship series though. If you are doing those three sometime I might hop in on them.

Jan 17, 12:13am Top

>76 souloftherose: Starring thread. Just looked at my library's Overdrive and Assassin's Apprentice has a waitlist, so I put a hold on it. It's only $2.99 on Amazon though, so if I don't get it by the last week in February, I'll probably just buy it - assuming that I can get all of my ARC books read between now and then.

Jan 17, 9:46am Top

>76 souloftherose: Thanks for setting that up!

Jan 17, 9:54am Top

I am still wading through The Way of Kings, but I have high hopes that I'll actually finish it soonish. My reading pace has rather slowed because I'm trying to get in a fair bit of skills updating/training time, so my reading time is pretty minimal right now. Argh.

I've also got Jade City by Fonda Lee on the go on my Kindle, which isn't the light alternative I'd been hoping for from the Sanderson. Hmm. It's good, but intense.

I'm debating allowing myself to start the illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, just to have something lighter to read when my brain is starting to hurt from too much learning and too many intense read!

Jan 18, 1:52am Top

>80 archerygirl: I am reading The Way of Kings too! Just reached the mid (around page 620 or something). Good luck with finishing it soon!

Jan 18, 4:20am Top

>80 archerygirl: I just read Jade City, and I thought it was excellent but I can't imagine it's much of a light alternative to anything! Not that I've read Sanderson, to be fair.

Jan 18, 8:57am Top

>81 aqeeliz: I'm somewhere over 800 pages now, so not far to go! Good luck with your read!

>82 Arifel: I'm really enjoying Jade City, but it's definitely not light. Sanderson isn't dark in that way, but he isn't a quick easy author, either. I love his work because he's so inventive with his ideas and he writes compellingly. I probably need something that doesn't require so much brain power as a light alternative, though!

Jan 18, 1:44pm Top

>80 archerygirl: I have Words of Radiance in the TBR pile and I think I am put off by the size. Plus I'm not sure how much I can remember of The Way of Kings.

Jan 18, 2:58pm Top

>84 souloftherose: I keep thinking that I should probably read Words of Radiance this year, just so I don't forget everything from The Way of Kings. It's got the epic fantasy problem of so many people, so many plotlines, and while I know he'll tie it all together eventually, that's a lot to retain!

Jan 21, 10:17am Top

I finished it! At last!

3. The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson
This is loooooong. Even by epic fantasy standards. And it's only the first in a series! And yet, it's pretty darned compelling and I enjoyed it a lot. Yes, there were definitely places where I felt Sanderson should have been edited down a bit, but not as many as you'd expect for a 1000 page book. A large part of what kept me reading were the characters. Every time he switched from one to another, I was simultaneously frustrated about not getting more of the previous one and excited to find out what was happening to the next one. Shallan, Kaladin, and Dalimar were all sympathetic and interesting in very different ways. I could have cheerfully read an entire book about either of them. I particularly loved the Shallan chapters because her relationship with Jasnah was so complex. As usual, Sanderson has some wonderful worldbuilding and his magic system is intriguing and unusual. This isn't a light read, but it's not a slog read. I'll definitely be picking up the next book soon.

As a reward for finishing that monster, I'm reading Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire. I love the novellas in this series a lot.

The weather here has been...well, it's definitely winter. And now we've had just enough thaw to turn any snow that didn't get cleared from paths into an ice-rink. So that's fun. We're supposed to get a bit more thawing this week - I'm hoping it'll be enough to actually get rid of all that icy mess. Ugh.

Jan 22, 4:52am Top

>85 archerygirl: I think I read somewhere that 4th Stormlight book won't be released before 2020, so if you read Words of Radiance and Oathbringer too quickly, you are bound to forget everything by the time the next one releases :)

Jan 22, 6:38am Top

>87 aqeeliz: Nice tip! So, maybe I should be reading one a year? Words of Radiance a year from now and then Oathbringer in 2019? :-D

Jan 22, 6:59am Top

My reward for finishing the loooooong book was getting to plunge into this. Er, I finished it in a day. Oops. But it was so good!

4. Beneath the Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire
I loved this. It didn't speak to me in quite the same way that Down Among the Sticks and Bones did, but I didn't expect it to because that was a book of my heart and those are rare. This book just delighted me from start to finish. I strongly suspect that Cora is Seanan, but in this case, I have no issue at all with an author self-insert. Cora is lovely and I suspect there are more than a few people who will identify with her immediately.

When the synopsis for this was announced, I was slightly disappointed that this wasn't Kade's book, because I'd been wishing for that since I first met him. But even though it's not Kade's book, his story is finally here and that delighted me.

The character I really identified with this time was Layla. Being given a door to a world where she could bake and bake, whatever she wanted, without worrying about what to do with all the things she'd baked? A world where she could bake whatever was in her heart and be as creative as she wanted? That's a portal world I'd love to to step into.

I'd highly recommend this book, but you do need to have read at least Every Heart a Doorway first. As it's also a novella, though, that's not going to be a hard task and another book I highly recommend. Just read all the novellas in this series. They're all worth it!

I'm still reading Jade City and enjoying it. Provenance just arrived from the library for me, so I'm still going to be pairing one intense book with another intense book this week. At least the McGuire was a fun light break for a while!

Jan 22, 8:54am Top

>88 archerygirl: That should be the more reasonable approach, but I am not going to promise anything myself, I doubt I will be able to wait this long between the books :P Most probably I will end up reading all three books within this year. BTW here's the excerpt from his site:
Then on January 1st, 2019, I go back to Stormlight refreshed and excited to be back in Roshar, and I write on book four until it’s done. (With a 2020 or 2021 release, depending on how the writing goes.) I do hope to find time for a novella, like Edgedancer, that we can put out between books. This one is tentatively called Wandersail.

Jan 22, 1:52pm Top

>89 archerygirl: Glad to see a positive review of that one. I'm looking forward to reading that one when it comes up in the shuffle. :)

Jan 22, 2:41pm Top

>86 archerygirl: I have The Way of Kings on my tbr shelf but haven't opened it yet. Might wait awhile as the problem of forgetting the plot details in these tomes is a significant one. Haven't picked up Beneath the Sugar Sky yet--paying $9.99 for an e-novella sticks in my throat--but the library has it on order and I'm only 8th in line. Have heard nothing but good things about it.

Provenance is NOT an intense book the way Ancillary Justice is--I would rate it a fun, coming of age adventure story, myself. Enjoy.

Jan 23, 1:10pm Top

>90 aqeeliz: At least Sanderson is a writer who actually sits down and writes the books he says he's going to write :-)

>91 MickyFine: I think you'll enjoy it!

>92 ronincats: I got it in hardcover to match the others, because I won't pay 9.99 for just an e-novella. Hope you get through the queue fast! It's a great read. I read the first chapter of Provenance and and it was great fun, so I feel a bit less daunted by it now. Thank you for the reassurance!

Jan 31, 8:59am Top

*waves flag* Still here! Still reading! But...very slowly. I feel like all I'm doing right now is learning, studying, and working on this for the move. It could be a very slow reading year at this point and I've given up on having a productive writing year entirely.

Provenance is great, so much fun, and Jade City is intense and hard work but excellent. So at least the books I'm reading are good when I get reading time?

The Reading Prevention team are getting miffed about the lack of reading to prevent.

Jan 31, 11:05am Top

I'm impressed you can pinpoint the source of the team's miffed-ness. Glad to hear things are going well, even if it is hectic.

Feb 1, 3:10pm Top

Sounds like the Sanderson book was a long haul. I have trouble with long books too. I'm currently struggling through George R. R. Martin's writing. :)

Feb 2, 5:50am Top

>86 archerygirl: Congrats on finishing that one - I liked it although it wasn't my favourite of Sanderson's books. It felt like there was a lot of setup - which I guess is necessary in the first of a 10-book series with Sanderson's usual level of worldbuilding - I'm hoping the next book in the series has more of a story/character focus.

>87 aqeeliz:, >88 archerygirl: That's my dilemma with the series - I read The Way of Kings at the end of 2016 but already feel like I may not remember enough of the detail to read Words of Radiance without a refresher....

>89 archerygirl: ' Just read all the novellas in this series. They're all worth it!' Seconded - glad you enjoyed that one.

>94 archerygirl: Glad the books are good even if reading is slow....

Feb 3, 5:56am Top

>97 souloftherose: How do people generally deal with reading such series? Whole series re-read before each book release?

Before Sanderson, pretty much all the series I have read were either complete or very near to complete, ending in a few years at max, so I have no idea how people deal with these things.

Feb 3, 11:57am Top

>98 aqeeliz: I think it depends on how long there is between books and how complicated or detailed the books are. I think there are some series where the books are published yearly and I feel like I remember enough of the details of characters and plot to just read the newest one each time it comes out without rereading. But there are still a number of series which I do reread all the books when a new one comes out to get the details fresh in my mind - sometimes because they're series where each book is a continuation of the story in the previous book (Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice trilogy and Jemisin's The Fifth Season trilogy come to mind).

Now, I'm wondering if I've almost talked myself into rereading The Way of Kings.......

Feb 3, 10:11pm Top

Have a lovely weekend, Kathy.

Feb 9, 7:03am Top

I finished a whole book. Go me.

5. Provenance - Ann Leckie
Thankfully it was a really good one, so while my reading may be slow, it's quality :-) This isn't quite at the level of Ancillary Justice for sheer gob-smacking wow, but I'm not sure many books would be. Instead, this is a book set in another part of the same universe that's a mixture of caper and political thriller, which I loved. The characters were terrific, the plot kept me engaged, it was great to see how the universe is viewed by non-Raadch people, and there was even a little queer romance. So really, it was a book written all for me and I was delighted :-)

>95 MickyFine: I possibly oversold me ability to pinpoint the miffedness. They're miffed about the lack of reading to prevent (Kate, chief preventer, practically divebombs me when she catches me with a book she can prevent me from reading), but they're really just miffed about the lack of snuggle time right now. Annie is particularly unhappy about that. I suspect we'll need a weekend off soon, to read and watch telly while they snuggle, just to prevent mass kitty rebellion.

>97 souloftherose: I felt the same way about Way of Kings - good but not my favourite, and a bit too much set-up. I'm hopeful that subsequent books will have more action. There is so much potential there and Sanderson is an author who is reliably original even when he's playing in familiar sorts of playgrounds, which is why I keep going back to his work.

>98 aqeeliz: With difficulty? As souloftherose said, with authors who release a book a year, it's often easy to keep up and remember what's going on between books. With authors who release more infrequently, or who write huge chunksters each time (Martin, Sanderson, looking at both of you), it's harder. There are wikis out there for the George RR Martin books, so you can look up things you've forgotten between books. I plan to hit those before I try to read A Dance With Dragons. I'm kind of hoping someone is doing the same with the Stormlight Archive books, or I'm going to be hopelessly lost, because there's no way I'm rereading the whole series before each book is released!

Feb 14, 8:41pm Top

Happy Valentine's Day, Kathy.

I'm glad you enjoyed Provenance - I'm reading it a little later this year.

Feb 21, 1:55pm Top

>102 rretzler: I hope you enjoy it!

Books happened. Yay!

6. Jade City - Fonda Lee
This is a gorgeous book. Not light or easy, but gorgeous. The world-building is rich and beautiful, a secondary world fantasy ish but not in the high fantasy mode. More like our world if it had taken a bit of a detour, so a lot of recognisable tech and parallels but not actually our world, which I loved. The concept of jade and Green Bone warriors was fantastic and I'd love to see that delved into further. I liked and had sympathy for the main characters, even when I wanted to shake them for making bad decisions (Hilo!), which I always count as a good thing. Definitely recommended.

7. Sparks Fly - Llinos Cathryn Thomas
Full disclosure: the author is a friend. But I would have loved this even if she'd been a total stranger. It's a fun, adorable F/F romance in a sci-fi setting and it came out at exactly the time when I needed something lovely and uplifting, so it really worked for me. Llin has promised she'll be writing more in this world, which made me even happier.

8. Knit One, Girl Two - Shira Glassman
Another adorable F/F romance, but a contemporary one this time. And what really made me happy was that the author really knows what she's writing about! Clara is an independent yarn dyer who is running a sock club. She's also a fanfic reader. And the author knows those worlds so (to this fanfic reading knitter) it felt accurate and immersive. I adored this.

9. Mr Churchill's Secretary - Susan Ella MacNeal
I seem to recall reading mixed reviews about this a couple of years ago, which is why it's taken me so long to get around to it. I wish I'd ignored those reviews because I really enjoyed this. Nothing jumped out at me as inaccurate enough to be distracting, which is important in historical mysteries, so I was able to sink into the story and characters. And that's where the book one - I liked all the characters a great deal, but Maggie really caught me. I'm looking forward to enjoying more adventures with her. The plot kept me intrigued and guessing for a long time, and even after the big twists were revealed, the plot remained engaging because of the characters. Recommended to anyone who enjoys Maisie Dobbs and other historical mysteries.

Current reads:
The Masked City
The Rogue Not Taken

It's been a slightly stressful couple of weeks, thanks to things in the house breaking just when we didn't want to be spending more money on the house. That's probably why my reading has veered heavily towards the fun, light-hearted end lately after finishing Jade City. I might just stay here in the shallower end of the reading pool for a while.

Feb 21, 2:15pm Top

The Nebula nominees were announced yesterday and File 770 has a good round-up of where they can be found if you want to get an early start on reading them: http://file770.com/?p=40755

Feb 21, 3:26pm Top

>103 archerygirl: Nothing wrong with the shallow end. Read what works for you! :)

Feb 23, 6:47am Top

>105 MickyFine: I'm trying to stick to that approach to my reading! :-)

I've had an unopened box from Amazon on my coffee table for nearly two weeks. I know what's in it - the new Tamora Pierce - but I haven't wanted to open it with the mood I've been in. Which really says a lot about how much the last few weeks have got me down!

But I might actually be in the right place to open it this weekend and then I can dive back into Tortall.

Feb 23, 1:41pm Top

Hope the right mood strikes! Happy Friday!

Feb 23, 5:57pm Top

>103 archerygirl: I've got a cautious book bullet for Jade City and a possible book bullet for Sparks Fly, as I don't see any way to acquire it.
>104 archerygirl: Thanks for that link. Have only read one of them, the Murderbot novella, although I have the Jemisin in my tbr pile and I've heard of Six Wakes. I've got some work cut out for me.
>106 archerygirl: I just finished a reread of the first two quartets and had to take a break.

Feb 25, 6:38am Top

>101 archerygirl: Yay for Provenance love!

>103 archerygirl: Jade City's on the list. Glad you enjoyed it.

>104 archerygirl: Thanks for the file770 link.

>105 MickyFine: What Micky said! I often find myself there on demanding weeks too.

Mar 7, 1:49pm Top

>108 ronincats: Sparks Fly is only available as a Kindle novella :-(
I feel like I didn't read enough new fiction last year, so I haven't read as many potential nominees as I'd have liked. But that does mean we've got lots of good stuff to explore?
I did a reread of the first quartet last year, so I'm ready for more Tortall now.

>109 souloftherose: My demanding weeks seem to be continuing, so I've been splashing around in the shallow end a lot. I still haven't opened my book parcel! Maybe this weekend?

Mar 7, 1:57pm Top

I did a bit of reading! Not much, but more than none, so at least there's that.

10. The Masked City - Genevieve Cogman
This was just pure fun. Libraries, alternate worlds, dragons, elves...it somehow manages to be a complete romp without ever feeling like I'm being talked down to, because Cogman slips in some great trope smashing moments and some nice literary references.

11. The Rogue Not Taken - Sarah MacLean
I'm starting to like MacLean's historicals a lot. Her heroines are intelligent and have agency, her heroes are flawed in a way that's appealing and interesting, and she never settles for the "if only they'd talk more" method of keeping the hero and heroine apart. I like the way she plays with gender expectations for the time and never quite goes where I think she will, even as she delivers a lush and gorgeous romance. The next book in this series might be happening soon because it sounds great.

As noted, still swimming in the shallow end. This week I haven't even achieved my usual lunchtime reading, because that would require having lunchtimes *sigh*

Current reads:

Git Pocket Guide
The Data Warehouse Toolkit
Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Career of Evil
Once Upon a Haunted Moor

Yeah, it's a really mixed bag right now!

Mar 7, 8:38pm Top

>103 archerygirl: Katherine, I've really been enjoying the Maggie Hope series by Susan Elia MacNeal. I too have not seen anything that is too terribly inaccurate - in the last book there was one thing that seemed improbable, so I looked it up and found that it was actually based on a true story! So count me as a fan of the series - glad to hear that you like what you've seen so far.

Shallow is definitely a necessary part of reading.

You've got me with several BBs!

Mar 9, 7:33am Top

>112 rretzler: It's interesting how often truth is so strange we think it has to be fiction! I've got the second Maggie Hope book on my Kindle and I'm looking forward to it - glad the series keeps on being great :-)

Yay, I hit someone with BBs! When the world gets overwhelming, reading as comfort food is completely necessary.

I picked up Once Upon a Haunted Moor and kind of couldn't put it down. Ate half of it in one sitting. It might be finished over the weekend. What a delightful book :-)

Really must finished Career of Evil (current library read) so I can start Royal Assassin for the group read.

Mar 11, 12:35pm Top

Splashing around in the shallow end is good; you can keep your head above water.

>103 archerygirl: >112 rretzler: I confess, I’m one of those who quibbled with Mr. Churchill’s Secretary :0)

Mar 18, 12:36pm Top

>111 archerygirl: Another book bullet here - The Invisible Library series has gone on the list.

I hear your work pain. I'm having one of those periods at work when I'm torn between wanting the long Easter weekend to come so I can have a break and panicking over how many deadlines need to be met by the end of March....

Mar 18, 1:28pm Top

>115 souloftherose: The Invisible Library is kind of a shotgun blast!

Edited: Mar 19, 1:45am Top

Can’t get me - The Invisible Library has been sitting on my TBR shelves for a while. I couldn’t resist a title like that. Although - until now - I’ve been reluctant to pick it up because the reviews (which I looked at after I bought it) weren’t so promising. So you can count me as nicked by the edge of that blast after all.

Mar 20, 7:00am Top

>114 humouress: I knew there would be someone with Mr Churchill quibbles! :-)

>115 souloftherose: The Invisible Library is a great fun break, particularly if you're having a period of work pain.

>116 quondame: That's a good way of describing it!

>116 quondame: It's definitely one of those series where reviews are mixed and a lot depends on what you're looking to get out of it. If you're expecting something serious and literary...you're looking in the wrong place! If you want something fun and escapist, it definitely fits the bill.

Edited: Mar 20, 7:48am Top

I finished some books! *trumpets sound*

12. Git Pocket Guide - Richard E. Silverman
Another "update my skills" read. We don't use Git at work (we're just dabbling our toes in SVN and the transition from PVCS is proving painful - I can feel everyone in IT wincing a little bit right now) but Git is a skill that's coming up a lot in the job descriptions I'm seeing, so I decided to sit down and get some practice with it. This is a good book for getting started and it goes into some high-level areas, so it's more than just a quick start. That said, it does get you up and running with git repos and remotes quickly, which is great. It also explains what's going on under the hood, which helps a lot with understanding what git is doing and why. I managed to get a personal project set up with a git repo syncing with GitHub as my remote and even fixed a commit when I made a mistake, so it's definitely a book I'd recommend for newbies to git. I have a feeling I'll be referencing it a lot. There's even a section at the end with common problems and scenarios and how to deal with them, which is a big help.

A friend recommended this as a supplement :-) http://ohshitgit.com/

13. Once Upon a Haunted Moor - Harper Fox
My only complaint about this was that it was a little on the short side, but that's mainly because I wanted to keep reading about the characters. The story fitted well into the length, so I'll be going back to this series. It's a contemporary m/m, set on the edge of Dartmoor, about a policeman searching for a missing child and the psychic he reluctantly has to allow to help him. There are hints at the supernatural, just enough to make me really intrigued, and a romance I could buy into, but it wasn't too deep or too intense, which is what I needed.

14. Career of Evil - Robert Galbraith
This is definitely not light, shallow, or easy. It's dark, intense, uncomfortable in places, and I was left wanting more so I hope the next one comes out soon. I'm firmly Team Robin now, she's the best, but that's not to say I dislike Strike. Just that Robin is my favourite :-) Galbraith/Rowling is great at characters, making us loathe some and love some, but never letting us feel indifferent to anyone. The plot was intriguing and I didn't guess who it really was until just before the reveal, which is the way I like my mysteries. But really, I just want the next book, okay?

My trip into the shallow end has been suspended while I read Royal Assassin, but I do have the illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as my light break when I need it.

Mar 30, 7:41am Top

>119 archerygirl: Our entire codebase is in Git, which means we are required to use it quite a few time and daily, and you won't believe how much people mess it up :-/ Only if I can get them to read the book...

Mar 31, 4:59pm Top

>120 aqeeliz: Oh, I can believe it. Half our codebase is in Subversion and people mess that up a LOT.

Mar 31, 5:05pm Top

The Hugo finalists have been announced! https://www.tor.com/2018/03/31/2018-hugo-award-finalists-announced/

It's a great list this year. Half the novel list was books I loved, the other half is books I'm excited to read. The novella list is fantastic and it's going to be a really tough one to pick. The novelettes, short stories, and related works are all new to me and that's exciting.

Wonder Woman is in the long form drama and I'm THRILLED. Short form drama is going to be incredibly hard to choose from, as it fancast.

The entire YA category is new to me and I'm excited to read those. I've actually read at least one work from every best series nominee apart from The Divine Cities, so that category won't be too painful to read.

Suddenly so happy I read Way of Kings earlier this year, because I can't imagine trying to get through that with all the other books I'd need to read!

In short, I'm delighted with this year's list and excited to read all the new-to-me books on it.

A few people chatted earlier this year about setting up a thread for a Hugo read-along after the list came out. Is there anyone who would still be interested in that? You don't need to be a voter, it would just be good to have a place to chat and support each other as we read/watch/listen.

Mar 31, 6:54pm Top

>122 archerygirl: Thanks. I've read 4 of the novels and one is waiting at the library for me, which leaves only The Collapsing Empire to hunt down. I've read three at least of the novellas too.

A Hugo read along would be good - might that be happening already on an SF page?

Mar 31, 11:09pm Top

Wishing you a wonderful Easter weekend, Kathy.

Apr 1, 10:23am Top

>122 archerygirl: Definite interest for a Hugo thread from me. I'm in a good place in terms of novellas (4 read already and as you say it will be really hard to choose a favourite) but behind on novels (2 read but I still haven't read Ninefox Gambit so have five to read before I can say I've read them all).

I thought it was interesting that the Series category was entirely made up of fantasy series. Generally I think of the hugos as having slightly more of an sf focus.

Apr 3, 12:17am Top

I've only read Provenance of the novels, although The Stone Sky is here in my TBR, as is Ninefox Gambit. I've read two of the novellas, the Wells and the McGuire. Of the YA, I've just finished Akata Warrior and got In Other Lands as an ER book last year, so that's two down.

I've read four of the series in their entirety. For me it would be a contest between the Lady Trent books and Bujold's World of Five Gods series. I love, love, love the latter, but since she just won last year for her science fiction series, I think she's at a disadvantage in the voting.

I don't see any Hugo reading thread over in the Science Fiction Fans group, so I'd say go for it here if you want. We can always announce over there if anyone wants to join us.

Apr 3, 8:19am Top

>124 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! I hope you had a lovely Easter.

>123 quondame:, 125, 126 I'll get a thread set up, as there isn't one on another page! :-)

>123 quondame: I loved The Collapsing Empire, so you've got something fun to look forward to!

>125 souloftherose: The Hugos do seem to have more of an SF focus, but perhaps the fantasy heavy series category is a feature of what people prefer to read in series form?

>126 ronincats: I suspect Bujold will do well, but I don't think she'll win series two years in a row. It's rare for anyone to win the same category two years in a row - that made Jemesin's win last year rather stunning! Best series is a category I'm torn on, so I'm hoping that reading a bit further into each series will help me make a decision.

Apr 3, 8:39am Top

The Hugo read-along thread is here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/289561

Apr 6, 6:06pm Top

>128 archerygirl: Ooh, I’m tempted; but I’m already behind on my March plans. Remind me next year :0)

Apr 10, 7:28am Top

>129 humouress: It's going to be a group read that runs for several months, so feel free to join whenever you can :-)

Apr 24, 7:06am Top

Oh, wow, it's been way too long since I updated. But I have, at least, read some books!

15. Royal Assassin - Robin Hobb
16. The Night Masquerade - Nnedi Okorafor
17. Stone Mad - Elizabeth Bear
18. Spectred Isle - KJ Charles
19. The Covert Captain - Jeanelle M. Ferreira
20. Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling
21. Tinsel Fish - Harper Fox
22. New York 2140 - Kim Stanley Robinson

Quite a few books, actually :-)

Royal Assassin was for the Farseer group read and I enjoyed it a lot, even though it's difficult to read some of the things Hobb put Fitz through. I'm looking forward to Assassin's Quest because I really need to find out what happens next!

The Night Masquerade was the last of the Binti books and I thought it was the strongest, tying everything up in an unexpected and brilliant way. I'd definitely recommend this trilogy.

Stone Mad was a follow-up to Karen Memory, which I absolutely adored, and this novella was a fantastic and worthy sequel.

Spectred Isle was by one of my favourite m/m romance authors so I was predisposed to like it, and I really did. She writes the combination of historical paranormal and m/m romance so well.

I really wanted to like The Covert Captain, because the idea of an f/f Regency romance was right up my alley...but I couldn't. It felt stiff and uncertain and there were ideas in it that should have been explored more but were brushed past too quickly. I was never really sold on the romance, which is a problem in a romance, so it's not one I'd recommend. So frustrating, because f/f Regency romance is so rare!

The illustrated Harry Potter was Harry, so of course I loved it. The art work is gorgeous.

Tinsel Fish was the second in a series about the same couple and I immediately went looking for the third, so that's a good sign :-) The author is doing a nice job of expanding on the world and exploring what happens after our couple first get together, which I appreciated.

And New York 2140 was my first DNF of the year, but I'm counting it because I read 200 hundred pages before giving up. Dry, pedantic, far too much exposition and barely detectable plot. Certainly no plot that actually grabbed me and made want to know more. And the characters had the depth of a piece of cardboard, so I couldn't make myself care about any of them, which made it hard to actually care about what was happening in the book. No, I did not like it at all. It's definitely going to the bottom of my Hugo ballot!

The move to England is starting to feel very real. Mum arrived last week and is getting the house ready to sell. I'm getting quotes from shippers and it looks like we're zeroing in on a date in the second week of July, probably around the 10th or 11th, so now I'm cycling between excitement and feeling completely overwhelmed. What fun.

I'm reading Final Girls because I've had it on my Kindle for ages, and I'm reading Just Henry in paperback to wash out the bad taste from the Kim Stanley Robinson book. I always forget how much I love Michelle Magorian's books until I get stuck into one and can't put it down.

Apr 24, 12:25pm Top

Congrats on setting a date for your move! Wishing you all the luck as you start to prep. :)

Apr 24, 1:24pm Top

>132 MickyFine: Thanks :-) I think I might need it. I'd forgotten how stressful an international move is!

Apr 24, 2:03pm Top

>131 archerygirl: Good wishes for your moving adventure. I don't transplant well, having lived within a 4mile radius for over 40 yrs and all my life in 1 state, so you have my admiration for crossing the Atlantic twice.

Apr 24, 4:59pm Top

>133 archerygirl: I'm getting ready for a move within the same city and that's stressful enough. I can't imagine the stress levels for an international version. *hands over chocolate*

Apr 24, 7:16pm Top

>134 quondame: I think twice is going to be my limit! And then I'll be staying within the same very small area for the rest of my life, preferably never moving after I finally buy something.

>135 MickyFine: I'm keeping myself going with the carrot of envisioning where I'll be in three months, after the worst of it is done. I'm particularly enjoying the moments of utter panic and overwhelming doom that keep cropping up whenever we have to face another tricky part!

Apr 25, 12:52pm Top

>136 archerygirl: It's a good strategy. Good luck with all the things!

May 3, 11:24am Top

>131 archerygirl: I really need to read Karen Memory. Also a fan of Michelle Magorian's books and Just Henry is a good one.

Good luck with the move! I've only ever moved within one country (and admittedly a relatively small one at that) which is stressful enough - I can only imagine the stress of international moving.

May 6, 4:47am Top

Have a great weekend, Kathy, as your move back to the Home Counties nears. xx

May 7, 11:31am Top

>138 souloftherose: I loved Just Henry :-) I don't think I've found a bad Magorian! You really do need to read Karen Memory. Moving is horrible and stressful, but major to do items are getting ticked off so it's all progressing well. I'm never doing an international move again.

>139 PaulCranswick: Thank you! It's only two months away now. Yikes!

May 7, 11:40am Top

Proper reading update coming soon, but...

I have booked shipping and flights, so it's all now completely official WITH DATES.

The crew is coming to pack on 9th July and load the container on the 10th. My flight (and the cats) will leave on the evening of 11th July, so we'll wheels down in England on 12th July. Hooray!

Also, the cats have had their microchips checked and their shots given, so a huge chunk of the paperwork is now largely complete except for signatures and stamps that can't be done until the week before we fly.

I've still got to apply for my TOR1 number, but I'm planning to get that done when I have some time off later this month, and apparently it's only taking a week or so to process now, so I'm on-schedule.

House selling is an awful horrible process, but it went on the market today so that's something. And all the house selling prep has actually taken care of a big chunk of the pre-move declutter/chuck stuff out process, so that's a positive.

I really, really just want to curl up with a good book right now. So tired. Thankfully my current reads are both excellent and lovely distractions.

May 7, 1:57pm Top

Congrats on having an official move date! And it looks like you've got so much of the major stuff out of the way already. *hands over more de-stress chocolate*

May 8, 4:44pm Top

Congrats on getting stuff sorted for your move Kathy! I HAVE done an international move, and I feel your pain. We didn't have a house to sell at the time though; house selling and moving have to be two of the worst kind of domestic upheavals you can face *hand over all the chocolate I own*. I find identifying your strengths and sticking to those things, and delegating other stuff where possible really helps. I actually like all the really fiddly bits of packing where you have to find a spot for lots of small items, or decide whether to keep something or chuck it. That would literally drive my husband insane. He on the other hand, deals with all utility companies, closing accounts, paying final bills etc. Oh, and heaven forbid if anyone else should ever try and load the car...
Also, thanks for setting up the Hugo thread. I will certainly pop along at some point. And that reminds me, I must look into going to World Con in Ireland next year. I have a RL friend who might be keen too. Do you think you might make it? Maybe we can tempt Heather along ...

May 9, 11:17am Top

>142 MickyFine: *noms all the chocolate* When I look at my list, it's slightly impressive how many big ticket items are done and don't need thinking about for a while.

I even put in my first job applications last night.

>143 HanGerg: I've delegated a lot of the house selling admin to Mum, because she's the house owner, so mostly that part is me sorting out all of my own stuff and helping out with cleaning and prepping. It's a good division of labour. And my shipping company is doing the packing (because insurance), so at least I just have to make decisions about what's going and not how to pack each mug and bookshelf. I don't recommend doing a house sale and an international move at the same time. So far, it's been awful.
I'm definitely going to Worldcon in Ireland! I already have my membership :-) We should try to tempt Heather along...

May 9, 1:08pm Top

>144 archerygirl: Congrats.

I have a bit of the same feeling when I look at my wedding planning checklist. Ticking things off is so satisfying.

May 13, 6:36am Top

>141 archerygirl: Congratulations on the move dates and all the hard work done so far! Fingers crossed for a quick sale for the house.

>144 archerygirl: I am definitely interested in WorldCon 2019! Just need to think about whether it would just be me or whether I can persuade the husband to come with me...

May 16, 5:22am Top

>144 archerygirl: >145 MickyFine: Good for you gals! I'm such a procrastinator (and hoarder) that I usually leave it to the end and then chuck everything into a big box to deal with in the new place. 10 years after moving, I still have boxes to sort out (but it's stuff I've acquired since).

By the time my house looks ready to live in, we'll have to move again. Mind you, it looks pretty lived in, anyway. *sigh*

May 17, 1:06pm Top

>146 souloftherose: Hooray! I think it's going to be an excellent Worldcon :-)

>147 humouress: That's what happened the last time I moved. I've unpacked a couple of boxes from that move during my declutter and ended up chucking almost everything out. I'm determined that isn't going to happen with this move!

May 17, 1:38pm Top

It's 17th May and I've just finished my first book for the month *waves tired flag* I had no idea how long it's been since I actually finished a book.

So here we go, the three books since I last updated the totals a month ago.

23. Just Henry - Michelle Magorian
This was fantastic. It caused several very late nights. I loved it to pieces. It's interesting to me that certain themes come up regularly in Magorian's work, but she puts different spins on them each time. Her central characters are always sympathetic and part of the joy in her books is watching them grow and change in wonderful ways. Highly recommended.

24. Final Girls - Mira Grant
And then there's a brilliant book in a totally different way. The horror here is both traditional and that awful creepiness of thinking through the consequences of what happened in the story. It's also about the plausibility of it, which is what gets me with all of Grant's stories.

25. After the Wedding - Courtney Milan
This was just pure joy, because it's a Courtney Milan romance and she's brilliant. I'd recommend reading the first book in the Worth Saga, to get the full effect, but I'm confident this would be a delight even without that background. The hero and heroine are fantastic, their romance had me cheering, and I adored the heck out of this. Highly recommended.

There has been so much decluttering. So much. But the house is officially on the market, we've had our first viewing, and there's an open house coming up at the weekend. So all the work is hopefully going to be worth it.

I started applying for jobs last week, which is terrifying and exciting all at once. Somehow, I've even managed to score a telephone interview already, tomorrow morning. I'm trying hard to stay realistic and not get my hopes up too high, but on the surface, it's a job I'd really love. So, cross your fingers?

Thankfully there are lots of other jobs out there for me to apply for that also sound great, so if this one fizzles, my world isn't over. And it's still nearly two months before I hit England, so I've got plenty of time to find the right job.

But all the decluttering and sorting out job applications has eaten into my reading and sleeping time and I'm utterly frazzled and exhausted. I'm on holiday tomorrow and all next week. I want to get a few more job applications sorted out over that time, but I plan to spend a fair bit of time sleeping and reading, too.

I'd originally planned use it for a massive pre-move declutter. But, er, that's done! So, job applications, sleep, and books seem like a good plan instead :-)

May 18, 12:49pm Top

Good luck with the job interview. Hope it goes well!

May 18, 3:18pm Top

>149 archerygirl: That sounds like an excellent plan, Kathy!

May 19, 4:59pm Top

Fingers crossed. Good luck!

May 30, 9:50am Top

>150 MickyFine: It seemed to - I had a second interview yesterday and now the big boss wants to talk to me on Friday. It's a bit overwhelming, but in a good way :-)

>151 ronincats: It was a great plan! The reality was less excellent. A lot of job applications, a lot of move paperwork, a lot of house viewings, not much reading or sleeping. Hmm. I suppose it was productive?

>152 humouress: Thank you!

As noted above, the job interview went well and I'm past the second interview stage. The part of my brain that is deep in impostor syndrome has decided that the big boss just prefers to reject people in person, not over email, so I'll see how this goes on Friday!

And my week off wasn't exactly relaxing or restful. But we did sell the house! So the non-relaxing non-restful holiday was probably worth it. Closing is a few days after I leave, which makes Mum happy (it's her house, after all, so I can't do any of the legal stuff) because it gives her time to finish clearing after me and my stuff leave. And cleaning. Because even though the house is spotless, she's still going to deep clean it.

I've got my paperwork submitted for the transfer of residency, which is the thing I need so that I don't pay tax on my belongings and cats. No, really, without the TOR they'll tax my cats on entry. I don't even know.

I have managed to finish two books, which is something!

26. Tempests and Slaughter - Tamora Pierce
I will freely admit that I adore Pierce's books and I'm probably never going to be rational, but I loved this. I hadn't been sure I needed to know about Numair's early life when she announced it, except now I'm totally hooked and clearly I did need to know. It will be interesting to go back and read the Immortals quartet with this part of his story in my head now. I can't wait for the next book.

27. Doctor Who: the day she saved the Doctor
This is a collection of four short stories focusing on the companions being awesome and kick-ass. It's definitely geared towards the young teen market, but they were great stories. Each is written by someone different (Jenny T Colgan! Susan Calman!) about a different Doctor/companion pairing. Unsurprisingly, the Bill story was probably my favourite and I particularly loved the way it undid one tiny detail that I hadn't loved. The Clara story by Susan Calman was also lovely and creepy in just the right way. Solid recommendation and I think girls in the target age will LOVE it.

Currently reading:

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
Waistcoats and Weaponry
Space Opera

So that's a good mixture of books and they're all quite excellent. Who knows, maybe I'll finish one soon?

May 30, 2:20pm Top

Congrats on the productivity of your non-relaxing vacation!

I am so curious what the taxes on a cat would be? Bureaucracy is a strange thing.

Glad both of your recent reads were enjoyable ones for you.

May 31, 1:19pm Top

>154 MickyFine: I'm planning not to find out, but yes, I'm really curious about the taxes on cats. I bought mine on a buy one get one free day - do they adjust the taxation based on that? Is there a standard formula for calculating a cat's worth? Does breed, history, and age come in?

Is it based on the level of asshole behaviour the cat shows during entry procedures?

May 31, 4:39pm Top

>155 archerygirl: LOL! I feel like we should find someone who has paid these cat taxes. Inquiring minds want to know.

May 31, 8:21pm Top

Congrats on getting the house sold! That's a biggie.

Do you have to deal with quarantine for the cats?

I hope the job turns out to be a good fit for you!

I enjoyed Tempests & Slaughter--don't know if I'll enjoy the next one as much as it gets us to where we need to be in the Immortals quartet.

I'm looking forward to Space Opera--on the waiting list at the library, #20 for 2 copies.

Jun 1, 8:32am Top

>153 archerygirl:, >155 archerygirl: Congratulations on the house sale and the TOR application! Because I am a geek I had to google the tax on cats and yes, apparently it's a thing (VAT/import duty basically on all belongings unless you get a TOR) - who knew? You'd hope they come up with a sensible method of valuation (e.g. however much you originally paid) but I wouldn't want to bet on that one.

'Is it based on the level of asshole behaviour the cat shows during entry procedures?'


I've only read Tamora Pierce's Alanna quartet because the other books are hard to find over here. But checking Amazon it looks like Tempests and Slaughter is released here later this year and The Immortals quartet from her backlist. So maybe I will have a chance to do some catching up. Should I read The Immortals books before T&S?

Also looking forward to your thoughts on Space Opera!

Jun 5, 7:02am Top

>156 MickyFine: >158 souloftherose: I have to admit, discovering that my TOR was needed for my cats as well as my physical stuff has been one of the funnier parts of this whole process! From what I've been able to find out, it's based on the cost I paid to transport them to the UK, which seems like a weird and ridiculous thing, but there you go. Cats. Everything about them is weird ;-)

I don't think you'll have missed anything if you don't read The Immortals first, but there are a lot of things that make more sense and have more resonance if you've read them. I love those books, so it's never a bad idea to read them :-)

>157 ronincats: As long as I have all the relevant paperwork, sign-offs, and vaccinations, the cats can go straight through with no quarantine, which is a relief!

On Space Opera, I'm enjoying it but I'm also finding it hard work in places. I think it's because I find Valente's prose can be very dense and you really have to concentrate to keep up. She'll pack half a dozen ideas into once sentence, which can be hard to unpick at times, but it also makes for some images and ideas.

I'm definitely glad that I'm reading some lighter things on the side for when my brain can't cope with dense and insightful writing.

I should have a bit more reading time now because...I just accepted an amazing job offer! I start on 30 July, so I've got a couple of weeks after I land to get sorted out and decompress a bit, and it's all worked out rather well :-) No more job hunting! More time for reading! :-)

This whole international move thing is working out rather better than I'd ever expected.

Jun 5, 7:09am Top

>159 archerygirl: Congratulations on the job offer — such a great feeling, isn’t it? Enjoy your free reading time!

Jun 5, 10:39am Top

>160 foggidawn: Amazing feeling :-) I think the best part was knowing I had choices so I got to take this job because I really wanted it. And they're already getting me onboarded with HR systems and ordering me a beautiful new Macbook, so it must be real!

I plan to thoroughly enjoy my free reading time. I need to tackle Mount TBR a bit before all my books get packed onto a ship.

Jun 5, 1:02pm Top

>159 archerygirl: Congratulations on your new job!

>159 archerygirl: I just finished Space Opera It isn't an easy book to read through. The plot is chopped into alternate chapters of psychedelic aliens competing in past iterations musical contest to which our earthly representatives are headed and its background.

Jun 5, 1:39pm Top

Woo hoo! That is amazing and wonderful, to have a job waiting for you that you can look forward to AND to have those couple of weeks after you get there to settle in first. The stars are indeed aligned for you!

Jun 5, 2:20pm Top

>162 quondame: Thank you! :-) That's my experience of Space Opera and while it's rewarding and fun, it's not easy or light. I sense it's going to be one of those books I'm really glad to have read, but not one that I skipped through with delighted joy at the time of reading.

>163 ronincats: Knowing I've got a job waiting is such a huge relief. Knowing it's one I'm really excited about is even better. They've already asked me what kind of computer I want and they're ordering it. So cool!

And having that time to decompress without worrying about whether I'll find work is going to be huge. Moving has consumed so much of my brain and effort for most of the year so far and I think I'm really going to need a little bit of time to just flomp before I plunge into the new job.

Jun 5, 2:53pm Top

>159 archerygirl:, >164 archerygirl: Fantastic news about the job AND about having some time to settle in.

Jun 5, 4:55pm Top

Huzzah for having a job lined up! I know how much of a relief that is after you've been hunting for a while.

Enjoy your free time pre-move. :D

Jun 6, 7:57am Top

>165 souloftherose: Thank you! Time to settle in sounds really good right now :-)

>166 MickyFine: Thank you! Maybe in that free time I'll actually read more than one book? Who knows!

Jun 7, 8:09pm Top

Congrats on the job!

Jun 8, 7:14am Top

>168 Kassilem: Thank you!

Edited: Jun 8, 12:17pm Top

>153 archerygirl: Oh, oh. Book 26 looks like a B.B.

>158 souloftherose: As I understand it, cats own you, not the other way around. So ...?

Congratulations on the job!

Jun 12, 6:52am Top

>170 humouress: I'd feel guilty about the BB but...nope :-)

Does that mean the cats actually owe tax on me?

Thanks for the congrats! I'm excited. And relieved. And kind of nervous because I've been with the same company for ten years and a new job means *change* and all that scary stuff, which is just hitting me. I'm more nervous about new job stuff than I am about moving right now!

Jul 6, 11:29am Top

I guess I should updated my books read list, right?

26. Tempests and Slaughter - Tamora Pierce
27. Doctor Who: The day she saved the Doctor: four stories from the Tardis - Jenny T Colgan
28. Waistcoats and Weaponry - Gail Carriger
29. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows - Balli Kaur Jaswal
30. Space Opera - Catherynne M Valente
31. Manners and Mutiny - Gail Carriger
32. Death of a Gossip - M. C. Beaton
33. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Abertalli
34. Leah on the Offbeat - Becky Abertalli
35. In Other Lands - Sarah Rees Brennan

This is since mid-May, so it's not as impressive as it looks!

Highlights from the list include Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, which I loved to pieces, and the two Abertalli books. Very different books, but I loved them all. I think they were books I read at the right time for me, although I can't help wishing Leah on the offbeat had been around when I was a teen - it would have been a really comforting book at that time.

The conclusion to Carriger's Finishing School series was perfect and now I can read her novella about Channing without fearing spoilers.

I finished In Other Lands last night and adored it. It was a Hugo read (my Hugo read attempts have not gone well - moving and Hugo reading don't mesh well) and it had been on my radar for ages, but that prompt got me reading and I'm so glad.

Actually, I don't think any of my reads were bad. Death of a Gossip was fun fluff, nothing to write home about, but all the others get high recommendations from me for varying reasons.

It's now T-minus five days until I get on a plane. I finished my job last Friday and I've spent the last few days in heavy move prep. The cats are now officially ready for their flight, approved and endorsed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency vet, so that's a big weight off. I'm losing count of the things I've cancelled, updated, and closed. There's so much involved in a move like this! But I think we're getting there and I'm seriously looking forward to waking up in England next Friday, with the worst parts of the move hopefully behind me.

Jul 6, 12:18pm Top

I can only imagine!

Jul 6, 1:40pm Top

>172 archerygirl: You're countdown is so short now! Wishing you nothing but smooth sailing for the last few days before you become an ex-expat. ;)

Jul 6, 2:49pm Top

>172 archerygirl: T minus 5? Nervous-exciting!

Er ... the cats are food?

Jul 10, 2:40pm Top

T minus 1! Good luck with all the final bits and the flight tomorrow! Just a heads up that due to our heatwave, England is looking a bit more scorched than usual... And we're still in the World Cup (I saw a tweet from someone to the effect that we're basically now a Banana Republic: government collapsing, heatwave, great football team....!)

Really glad you enjoyed the final book in the Finishing School. I have Erotic Widows on my list (I think I saw your rating on GR) and am about 1/3 of the way through In Other Lands which is really growing on me (Elliot was a bit too bratty at first). I am loving the way she sends up gender conventions!

Jul 15, 5:58am Top

>176 souloftherose: I am here in England! And you're right, it's rather scorched, but I'd been warned :-) I really enjoyed Erotic Widows, hope you'll get to it soon. And I agree about Elliot in In Other Lands - very bratty at first, but he grew on me and I loved what Rees Brennan did with gender conventions! It's such a fun book.

>175 humouress: I have to admit, finding out it was the food inspection agency that needed to endorse the cats was...odd :-)

I'm officially an ex-expat! Move day was utterly exhausting - overnight flight with no sleep, flight delays, airport delays due to a broken bridge door, and then the cats were held up in customs due to a missing detail on one piece of paperwork from my vet. The pet shipper was worth their weight in gold and got that all sorted out (required my vet to send more paperwork!) and they delivered the cats to my door at 7pm on Thursday. As I'd left Canada on Wednesday evening and hadn't slept since, I was in no state to drive out to the airport to pick them up!

The cats are adjusting surprisingly well. I confined them to one room for the first day, until they settled a bit, but now they're happily roaming around and picking out favourite chairs for snoozing in. It's a bit weird living in my parents' house again, but I'm adjusting too, and it's only for a couple of months.

I'm very glad that I have a couple of weeks before I start new job. I'm exhausted! Packing up and moving was a lot of work and I've been very short on sleep lately. It may take me the next two weeks to catch up.

I spent Friday getting various admin tasks done - new UK sim for my phone, bank paperwork, reactivating my library account, updating addresses and payment methods in a dozen places. I'll probably be finding stuff that needs to be done for ages yet, but at least all the urgent stuff is done and I'm fairly functional now.

I got to spend Friday evening at my uncle's place and my sister and brother in law are coming out for lunch today, so the "spend more time with family" part of this move is already working out well! And I've got coffee dates set up with old friends, which is rather lovely.

I've also read a couple of books somehow, so I'll update with those soon.

I'm living in England again. How cool is that?

Jul 15, 1:34pm Top

Woo woo. Welcome back (say I from the other side of the world).

Like a good LTer, you’ve sorted out your library card first :0)

(Just watching the French team collect their trophy in the driving rain; not that they mind)

Jul 15, 11:03pm Top

Glad that the overseas part of the move is over and the cats are settling in! Get some rest.

Jul 18, 2:17pm Top

>177 archerygirl: Huzzah for a successful move! I hope you've been getting plenty of time to decompress and catch up on sleep. :)

Jul 26, 11:01am Top

>178 humouress: I have my priorities - phone and library card :-) Lots of other things sorted out now, too, but having communication and the ability to borrow books were key!

>179 ronincats: Thanks! I got some rest :-) I think I might be feeling non-sleep deprived for the first time in many years. I'm sure my new job (starting Monday!) will fix that for me fast, though.

>180 MickyFine: Thank you. Decompressing and sleep catch-up have been happening a lot and it's been lovely.

It's hard to believe I've been back for two weeks already - time has flown! I start the new job on Monday and I'm feel much more refreshed than I was two weeks ago, despite the incredible heat. Today is just stifling, but the forecast promises to be slightly less oppressive by Monday. Cross your fingers?

I've got a lot of the set-up stuff done here. I have a doctor, the cats have a vet, I've got a credit card on its way, which makes me much more hopeful about credit history and odds of getting a lease without needing a guarantor. I plan to start house (or flat, or maisonette) hunting soon, because there's definitely going to be a limit on how long I can live in my parents' spare bedroom.

Lots of reading has happened and I shall attempt to summarise the books soon. It's actually been more reading than I've done in ages and I feel so indulgent. Reading, watching Netflix...no frantic packing, job hunting, or studying. I'm not used to this! But it's very nice. I've missed having time to just enjoy myself.

Soon I might even start visiting threads properly again!

Jul 26, 1:56pm Top

Glad to hear you're starting to feel settled, Kathy. Good luck with the abode-hunting! And best wishes for an excellent first day at your new job next week.

Jul 28, 5:05am Top

>182 MickyFine: Thank you! It's been so long since I had a first day at a new job, I'm slightly nervous about what to expect!

I did some reading! Quite a lot, actually. A fair bit of it was plunging into comfort fiction, but not all of it:

36. Unmasked by the Marquess - Cat Sebastian
37. The Calculating Stars - Mary Robinette Kowal
38. That Could be Enough - Alyssa Cole
39. In Pursuit Of... - Courtney Milan
40. The Widows of Malabar Hill - Sujata Massey
42. Christmas at the Little Beach Street Bakery - Jenny Colgan
43. A Gentleman Never Keeps Score - Cat Sebastian

The Calculating Stars was a particular highlight and I can't wait to read the second part of the duology. Thankfully I don't have to wait long - it comes out in late August! It's absolutely brilliant. Kowal won a Hugo a few years ago for her short story The Lady Astronaut of Mars and this is the prequel, telling the story of how the world became what it was in that short story. It opens with a meteor crashing into the Earth in the early 1950s, triggering a worldwide catastrophe, and then follows our heroine as she becomes part of the effort to make space travel and exploration (and colonisation) a reality more than a decade earlier than it happened in our timeline. Kowals research is clear and makes it all feel very real. I couldn't help being caught up in the story and it took real effort to put the book down. Her protagonist is a woman mathematician (computer) in the 1950s and she captures the attitudes to women and their work beautifully. The protagonist is also Jewish and I loved the way Kowal wrote her complicated feelings about faith and living with the devastation of a planet-killing event. I highly recommend this one and can't wait for the next one.

That Could Be Enough was a delightful f/f romance novella that is part of a trilogy of novellas connected to Alexander Hamilton. This one is set years after his death and it features women of colour, a beautiful romance, and a gorgeous story of self-acceptance and hope. I adored it.

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score is a fantastic m/m historical romance by an author who is becoming one of my insta-buy authors. It's a mixed race romance, but what really stands out is the delicate way Sebastian handles the issues of sexuality and relationships after abuse. It's a beautiful, gentle romance that somehow also packs some heated pages in without losing that thread of care-taking and understanding. The side-characters are delightful, too, and I adored the resolution. There were hints at the end about what the next story in this series will be and I can't wait.

Jul 31, 2:15pm Top

>177 archerygirl: Hooray for safe arrivals and excellent pet shippers!

>183 archerygirl: The Calculating Stars is definitely high on my want to read list. Although I have bought quite a few newly released books lately so I should probably read those before buying another one!

Hope the first few days in your new job have gone ok.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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