Ronincats Reads On in the Company of Friends: Take 2
This is a continuation of the topic Ronincats Reads On in the Company of Friends.
This topic was continued by Ronincats Reads On in the Company of Friends: Take 3.
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I’m Roni in San Diego and I’ve been a member of the 75 book challenge group since 2008. I have a husband, 6 cats, 1 dog, a garden, many books, and am retired. I spend my time reading, gardening, crocheting, and making pottery and wire jewelry.
My main focus in reading is in speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy) but I also try to read at least a dozen nonfiction books per year and am keeping up, more or less, with 4 mystery series. Welcome to my thread. If you are a speculative fiction reader, comment on my thread and I’ll come visit you.
I follow those members with similar tastes or that I forged friendships with back in the days when this group was smaller--there is no way I can keep up with everyone, although I would love to be able to. But I definitely return visits!
Goals for 2018:
1. Read 150 books and 50,000 pages. So 2017 was the second year in a row that I didn’t meet this goal, reaching 141 books and 47,024 pages, but it is still quite doable.
2. Read at least 40 books off my own bookshelves (BOMBs). I have 295 books tagged “tbr” and that does not count my new acquisitions this month. Books acquired last year that I did not get read number 45. I only read 32 BOMBs this year, not meeting my high goal of 50. In two days, all of my books will be BOMBs.
3. It looks like I have been averaging about 85 books acquired for the last 6 years, so I will keep the goal of acquiring no more than 85 books. I need to do better at de-accessioning books from my stash, however, than I did this year (29). I will set the goal of 50 books out the door once more.
Best of 2017
It has been an outstanding year for nonfiction. Out of 23 books read, I easily have a top 5, oops, 6 spanning a wide range of areas.
John Adams by David McCullough
Dancing at the Edge of the World by Ursula Le Guin
The Dark Side by Jane Mayer
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Hidden Figures by Margot Shetterly
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
Top Non-speculative Fiction Reads:
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Most Fun Reads:
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
Arabella of Mars by David Levine
New Books out by my FAVORITE Authors (all in series):
Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan—final Lady Trent book
The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller—Liaden
Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner—Queen’s Thief
The Gates of Tagmeth by P. C. Hodgell—The Kencyrath Chronicles
The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire—Toby Daye
Vallista by Steven Brust—Dragaera
The Penric novellas by Lois McMaster Bujold—World of Five Gods
Best SF New to Me:
Provenance by Ann Leckie
A Matter of Oaths by Helen Wright
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Best Fantasy New to Me:
Heartstone by Elle Katharine White
Borderline by Mishell Baker
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Kingfisher by Patricia McKillip
Books read: 142
Pages read: 47,365
Average pages per day: 333
Average pages per book: 403
New reads: 124
Library books: 55
Books off the shelf: 32
New acquisitions read: 2 (purchased new)
science fiction 22
Author gender: 98 female, 46 male
Country of origin: USA 6, England 3
Books acquired: 82
Source: PaperBackSwap-6, Amazon-40 (31 Kindle), gifts-11, Early Reviewers-5, Mysterious Galaxy-15, Other-5
Genre: science fiction-18, fantasy-43, children's-3, nonfiction-16, fiction-2, romance-1, mystery-0
Books out the door: 28
I am reposting my list of favorite books from each year of my life (published date).
Okay, several people have been posting lists of favorite book per year of every year of their life. Seemed like an impossible task for me, but then I realized it didn't mean BEST book, and further realized that I could morph the conditions somewhat. So what this list contains is favorite books as defined by books that I keep coming back to and rereading with enjoyment. Except for the last 5 years, this means I have reread the books listed at least three times, and often many times more. Also, I have tried not to use books in a series too many times. I mean, I could list ALL of the Bujold books, the Vlad Taltos Series, the Liaden books, the Attolia books, the Toby Daye series, and so on, as I often reread all the previous books every time a new one comes out. I have tagged books that are part of this type of series with an asterisk. Need I say I spent far too long on this?
1949 Needle by Hal Clement
1950 The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
1951 Between Planets by Robert Heinlein
1952 Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
1953 Cotillion by Georgette Heyer
1954 The Lord of the Rings: Books 1 & 2 by J. R. R. Tolkien
Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman
The Ark by Margot Benary-Isbert
1955 The Lord of the Rings: Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien
1956 Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer
1957 Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
The Door into Summer by Robert Heinlein
1958 The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
1959 The Beast Master by Andre Norton
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
1960 The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
The Dean’s Watch by Elizabeth Goudge
Storm Over Warlock by Andre Norton
1961 Catseye by Andre Norton
Time is the Simplest Thing by Clifford Simak
1962 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
1963 Way Station by Clifford Simak
1964 Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge
1965 Dune by Frank Herbert
1966 The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz
1967 Taran Wanderer* by Lloyd Alexander
Dragonflight/Dragonquest* by Anne McCaffrey
1968 A Wizard of Earthsea* by Ursula K. Le Guin
1969 The Warlock in Spite of Himself by Christopher Stasheff
Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman
The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs
1970 The Tombs of Atuan* by Ursula K. Le Guin
1971 A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle
1972 The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin
1973 The Dark is Rising* by Susan Cooper
1974 The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip
1975 Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones
1976 Dragonsong* by Anne McCaffrey
1977 Charmed Life* by Diana Wynne Jones
1978 Beauty by Robin McKinley
1979 The Door into Fire* by Diane Duane
1980 Lord Valentine’s Castle* by Robert Silverberg
1981 The Pride of Chanur* by C. J. Cherryh
The Ring of Allaire* by Susan Dexter
The Demon Breed by James H. Schmitz
1982 The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
God Stalk* by P. C. Hodgell
1983 Jhereg* by Steven Brust
Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy
1984 Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
1985 Talking to Dragons* by Patricia C. Wrede
The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner
Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly
1986 Shards of Honor* by Lois McMaster Bujold
1987 The Uplift War* by David Brin
1988 The Dragonbone Chair* by Tad Williams
Sheepfarmer’s Daughter* by Elizabeth Moon
Agent of Change* by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
1989 Guards! Guards!* by Terry Pratchett
1990 Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
1991 Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
1992 On Basilisk Station* by David Weber
1993 The Thread that Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
1994 Mirror Dance* by Lois McMaster Bujold
1995 Sabriel* by Garth Nix
1996 The Thief* by Megan Whalen Turner
1997 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone* by J. K. Rowling
1998 To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
Dark Lord of Derkholm* by Diana Wynne Jones
Changer by Jane Lindskold
1999 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban* by J. K. Rowling
2000 The Curse of Chalion* by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Queen of Attolia* by Megan Whalen Turner
2001 Getting Things Done by David Allen
The Eyre Affair* by Jasper Fforde
2002 Lost in a Good Book* by Jasper Fforde
2003 The Wee Free Men* by Terry Pratchett
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
2004 Going Postal* by Terry Pratchett
2005 Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Cast in Shadow* by Michelle Sagara
2006 The King of Attolia* by Megan Whalen Turner
2007 Wizards at War* by Diane Duane
2008 Nation by Terry Pratchett
2009 Rosemary and Rue* by Seanan McGuire
2010 I Shall Wear Midnight* by Terry Pratchett
2011 Rivers of London* by Ben Aaronovitch
2012 Three Parts Dead* by Max Gladstone
2013 A Natural History of Dragons* by Marie Brennan
2014 The Martian by Andy Weir
2015 The Astronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
2016 Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
Books Read in 2018
1. Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
2. Behind the Throne by K. B. Wagers
3. God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell
4. Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis
5. Cloudbound by Fran Wilde
6. Dark of the Moon by P. C. Hodgell
7. Seeker's Mask by P. C. Hodgell
8. To Ride a Rathorn by P. C. Hodgell
9. Bound in Blood by P. C. Hodgell
10. Honor's Paradox by P. C. Hodgell
11. The Sea of Time by P. C. Hodgell
12. The Gates of Tagmeth by P. C. Hodgell
13. The Birds' Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggins
14. To Visit the Queen by Diane Duane
15. Blood & Ivory: A Tapestry by P. C. Hodgell
16. The Las Meow by Diane Duane
17. Legacy by James H. Schmitz
18. The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Cummin
19. Cast in Deception by Michelle Sagara
20. Strange Tomorrow by Jean Karl
21. The Earl's Return by Emma Lange
22. A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly
23. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
24. Court Duel by Sherwood Smith
25. The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett
26. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
27. The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin
28. The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin
29. Tehanu by Ursula Le Guin
30. Tales from Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
31. The Other Wind by Ursula Le Guin
32. Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones
33. The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones
34. The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden
35. Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones
36. The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones
37. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
38. In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
39. The Woman who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce
40. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
41. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
42. Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce
43. Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
44. The Realm of the Gods by Tamora Pierce
45. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt
46. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor
47. Omens by Kelley Armstrong
Books Acquired in 2018
✔1. Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
2. Darwin's Armada by Iain McCalman
3. The Gene: an intimate history by Siddhartha Mukherjee
4. The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone
✔5. Cast in Deception by Michelle Sagara
6. The Ghost Sister by Liz Williams
7. After the Crown by K. B. Wagers
Is it safe now?
Happy new thread Roni!
I love the way you organized your favourite lists at the top. Totally makes it easy for me to just scan and look up books to add to my teetering pile!
Happy new thread, Roni! I finished catching up on your previous one just in time to swing into this one. I am completely jealous of your getting to eat Thai the other day.
Happy new thread!
I really miss Pearl of Siam, the really great Thai restaurant that was about a half mile from where I used to live. Pueblo needs a good Thai place. We also need a Trader Joe's and/or Sprouts.
Happy New Thread, Roni! Looks like your reading year is off to a great start. I need to read the new Liaden book!
Hi there Roni! Happy new thread. Hope you're having a good, reading-full day :)
Happy new thread, Roni. You are on fire - twenty-four books already. I love the topper picture. Lovely.
Happy thread! I've spent some time on your favorites list. Looks like some really good stuff in there.
Oh, a nice new thread, I made sure to wipe my feet before entering. I've been keeping up with my thread but rather absent from the community as we are making three to four trips a day to our new place loaded with stuff. When the movers come on Friday all that will be left will be the bigger pieces of furniture as we've managed to move just about everything else ourselves. We are tired but looking forward to soon seeing the end of this exodus which seems to have been going on for years!
I am planning on treating myself to a Liaden book in February. I Dare is next up for me.
>10 jolerie: Hi, Valerie! You are the first! Glad to oblige.
>11 foggidawn: Hi, foggi.
>12 Crazymamie: San Diego is a pretty good food environment, Mamie!
>13 drneutron: Hi, Jim!
>14 Storeetllr: Should we ever return to the Midwest, Mary, the food diversity is what I will miss most, more even than the weather, I think.
>15 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. So happy you are a Liaden fan.
>16 RebaRelishesReading: Pretty good, Reba. A little housework, a little game play, and working on The Last Hero as a result of some work I did on the God Stalk thread. Oh, and setting up a new thread, of course. Woke up with a headache so that slowed me down. What was with this weather today?
>17 BLBera: Thanks, Beth.
>18 Kassilem: Hi, Melissa. Go for it!
>19 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul!
>20 DeltaQueen50: The end is in sight, Judy; hang in there! I Dare is a great one! And I added some info on the God Stalk thread that you might be interested in.
>14 Storeetllr:, >21 ronincats: It's not the entire Midwest, Roni. Denver and its suburbs were overflowing with great eating places, and there are probably good places in Pueblo too. It's just that I'm not familiar with them yet. There are cajun, sushi, tandoori, Italian, BBQ, and Mexican places, but no Thai or Mediterranean restaurants.
Happy new thread! You are off to a great start this year with your reading. Love the variety. : )
>4 ronincats: I’ve been looking at your list of favourite books by year and a lot of the ones I have read would make my favourite book list as well: Jhereg, Shards of Honour and other Vorkisigan books, the Ursula K. Le Guin, Harry Potter, Georgette Heyer, The Dragonbone Chair. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and the Andre Norton ones were some of my absolute favourites of all time when I was younger. I’ll have to get around to the ones I haven’t read to see if I like those as well!
>21 ronincats: another Santa Ana :( I imagine that's why you woke with a headache yesterday. Hope it's better today. I think it's supposed to be a bit cooler today -- hope so!
Did you see the eclipse this morning? Pretty cool.
I missed your first thread, but starring your second! Looks like you've already got a lot of good reading in this year!
I have largely been absent from the threads for a couple of weeks. It is the beginning of the semester and I am swamped. I did manage to have a good month of reading/listening. I got two books that I put on my 2018 best of list. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor was a wonderful YA fantasy novel, and An American Insurrection: the Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962 by William Doyle was as fine a work of non-fiction as I have read in some time.
I am also getting ready to go to ALA in Denver, and trying to think about planning a meet-up for the LT'ers who might be attending the ALA meeting in Denver. February 9 -13. Tim and the LT crew are offering free passes to the exhibits, so if anybody is interested in going for free here is the link to the thread that in turn has the link to the free passes.
>22 Storeetllr: Ah, but the sheer amount of choice in all of those around here is simply amazing, Mary.
>23 Berly: Hi, Kim. Love the threads!
>24 humouress: Thanks, Nina.
>25 SandDune: Glad to be of service, Rhian.
>26 RebaRelishesReading: Probably so, Reba. The headache was gone by late morning and no problem today. No, we didn't get up in time to see the eclipse, lazy slug-a-beds that we are.
>27 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita.
>28 aktakukac: Hi, Rachel. Working on it!
>29 benitastrnad: Wish I could be there, Benita.
So this morning was busy. We had a tree removal crew show up at 8:30 to take out a huge olive tree in our back yard. I love that tree--it was old when we moved in here 37 years ago--but the roots were starting to harm foundations and so it finally had to go. Quite a project. When I took this photo they had already removed half the side branches. That's dead passionflower vine that is hanging all over it, by the way.
After that we sat out on the deck with a beer and soaked up some sunshine, and then I finished my final book of the month.
Book #25 The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett illustrated by Paul Kidby (176 pp.)
Cohen the Barbarian has gotten bored with being Emperor and after Old Vincent dies of choking on a cucumber, decides to go out with a bang with his gang of Heroes (all of whom are pretty old and decrepit at this stage). He is going to return the gift of the gods to their abode of Dunmanifestin, atop the central and highest mountain in the Discworld. This book, abundantly illustrated, tracks his journey while Ponder Stibbons and Leonardo da Quirm work on ways to stop him, because if he succeeds, the world ends--for everyone. We have all the old crew here, whether the Librarian, Captain Carrot, Ridcully, Rincewind, Death, swamp dragons or Evil Harry the Dread Lord. And I think I can safely say a good time was had by all--of the Barbarians, at least. Also lots of gorgeous artwork.
Books read: 25
Pages read: 7786
Average pages per day: 251
Average pages per book: 311
New reads: 13
Library books: 2
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 8
New acquisitions read: 3 (purchased new)
Did Not Finish (DNF): 0
science fiction 4
Author gender: 22 female, 3 male
Country of origin: USA 22, England 2, Wales 1
Medium: Kindle 6, Hardback 9, trade paper 6, mass market paper 4
Books acquired: 5
Source: Amazon - 3, Good Will - 2
Read: 2 read this month
Genre: science fiction-1, fantasy-1, nonfiction-3
Books out the door: none but I have 5 of my ROOTS ready to go.
We had to take out a lovely river birch 2 years ago - it was threatening the foundation and the septic drain field. Too bad about your olive tree.
Congrats on your excellent reading month, love your stats.
Congrats on the new thread, Roni. I love the topper picture - looks like a very warm and relaxing place. I can close my eyes and imagine I am listening to all of the beach sounds!
Your stats are so impressive Roni!
Especially the reread ones. What do you do with the books after you reread them? Keep them or pass them along?
Happy new thread, Roni! You remind me that I need to get back to Terry Pratchett! (I keep saying that, but then don't go back to where I left off ... )
I love olive trees, even though the pollen can be deadly. :) The house I raised my daughter in had three olive trees out front. When I sold the house, the new owner cut them all down. I cried.
>33 karenmarie: It's such a shame when we have to sacrifice trees for buildings, Karen.
>34 rretzler: Thanks, Robin. It's a much more relaxed place during the winter months as in this photo.
>35 jolerie: These are all keepers, Valerie. I only pass on books I don't think I will reread.
>36 ChelleBearss: Do it, Chelle!
>37 Storeetllr: I hate to cut down trees for any reason, Mary, especially mature trees.
I was at the pottery today and brought home four small bowls.
The house just down the street from my parents in Kansas had four Black Walnut trees that lined the street. A new person bought the property and the next year cut down all four of those trees. He said that they attracted squirrels and the squirrels were getting inside his house. Who cuts down Black Walnut trees instead of fixing your house and making it varmit proof?
Happy new thread, Roni. Looks like you have read a lot of good books already and we are only one month into 2018!
>38 ronincats: Love them all!
Congrats on the number of books read in January! I was pretty surprised I read 26.
>40 benitastrnad: Oh! That's just criminal!
At my grandma's house in Chicago, there was a huge and beautiful old elm that I loved growing up. When I was a teenager, it had to be cut down because of disease. It took me a long time to get over that.
Thinking about it now, it occurs to me that i never really did get over it.
Hi Roni! Congrats on all the book and all the ROOTS you managed in January!
I love all your covers. Several were favorites of mine last year. Several more I intend to read this year.
Thanks for continuing to share your pottery. I love both blue and maroon, but in the photo in >38 ronincats: it's the green and tan one on the top right that calls to me. So beautiful!
Ah, sad about the tree. Did you keep any of the wood?
We had a elm in my family's backyard in Virginia - it shed a couple limbs (onto a neighbor's garage, unfortunately) and the arborist found the heart was basically rotted out. We kept it a few years longer, with straps holding it together, but it finally had to come down.
Which made our house much less pleasant - we'd turned the back porch into a glassed-in living room, with a curved glass window for half the roof as well. That was right under the tree, so we had bright sun whenever there was any in winter, and the tree shaded it in summer. No tree=hotbox on the back of the house in summer...
We moved out and sold the house a few years later, for unrelated reasons. Don't know what the new owners did...but they had bought in February, as I recall.
>39 richardderus: Funny man!
>40 benitastrnad: Black walnuts are messy, but they are also gorgeous.
>41 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Rereading favorites is a great way to get those numbers up!
>42 Berly: Maybe my best month ever for ROOTS, Kim!
>43 ChelleBearss: Thank you, Chelle.
>44 thornton37814: And thank you, Lori. Looks like we both had a good month.
>45 Storeetllr: We had a huge, beautiful elm in our back yard when I was young. In my teens is when that elm disease epidemic wiped out so many of this country's elms and it had to be removed. Loved that tree.
>46 streamsong: Janet, we did keep half a dozen cross-sections of the trunk. I'm sure I'll find something to do with them.:-)
>47 jjmcgaffey: We lost ours to disease (see above) but elms were lovely trees.
Worked out in the backyard today, putting stuff back on the deck and sweeping up wood chips and watering all the dry plants. Lovely day to sit on the deck having a cold beer and watching the hummingbirds! (mid-70s) I also had the catalpa tree that overhung the deck taken out. I had brought a seedling from Kansas as I had fond memories of them in my childhood yard, but had not realized the extent to which it wept sap. So although the big leaves provided shade in the summer, the sap would drip upon us and on the deck--not appropriate at all. Not regretting that one at all. Our yard looks very different now.
Have to share--Miles was asleep between the cushions of the sleeping/reading couch in my office.
And then later I look up and little sister has joined him.
February Reading Plans
Group reads: I had intended to wait for the Category Challenge Le Guin read in June, but Ella has started one for February here in the 75er groups, so I'm going with that. My intention is to read all 6 books, the last of which will be a ROOT as I've never read it.
Library reads: I am working on The Prey of Gods. I also have Shadowcaster and The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-crisis World checked out, although the latter is a tome. But I didn't read any nonfiction at all last month, for the first time in years.
Christmas gifts: I am working on Wicked Like a Wildfire.
ER books: working on An Unkindness of Ghosts still, tried to start Tooth and Talon but it doesn't look good. Have to figure out how to listen to Mad Hatters and March Hares--well, I know how, but have to transfer from cds to computer to my iPod.
Children's books: I need to finish a couple of children's books in my library so I can donate them to the school library at my elementary school when I go there to read for Dr. Seuss day at the beginning of March. These are Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt, Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor, and possibly The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw. These will join three books from last month, and all are ROOTS.
Morning, Roni! The pottery is gorgeous, as it always is, and I love that one that Richard picked out. And the kitty photos!! Just so sweet - I love when they sleep all stretched out like that. What truly beautiful coloring Miles has.
And the tree - sadness.
>38 ronincats: All stunning!
>48 ronincats: Cute.
As for trees, the powers that be have been expanding roads and creating new underground train lines. All of which means that trees get cut down to make room, some of them possibly older than the country itself. And then, because there’s less shade, my drive gets much hotter. :0(
Love the photos of the cats. Glad you got to enjoy yesterday outside.
Hi, Lucy, Beth, Mamie, Nina, Reba and Karen. This morning, the cats are all trying to get in that sun spot, but it keeps moving on them.
With the last storm two big conifers in our back garden went down. Leaving a big gaping hole. There's a small one that could take its place, but it still has a lot of growing to do.
>57 thornton37814:, >58 Crazymamie:, >59 AMQS:, >60 EllaTim:, >61 The_Hibernator:, >62 ChelleBearss: This house is very catcentric at the moment. My husband was complaining this morning about being pinned in bed last night by several of the cats and the dog (who at 13 pounds is cat-sized).
I'm looking forward to planting three or four fruit trees along the back of the yard now that the olive tree is gone, so it is not all loss. We have 2 grapefruit and a lemon tree and an avocado along the south side still. And an apricot by the deck.
Hope you enjoy A Gentleman in Moscow as much as I did, Rachel.
Book #26 A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin (186 pp.)
PawsforThought has organized a group read of Le Guin after her death last month and I plan to reread the 6 Earthsea books as a result. Well, actually five of them, and the sixth I have but have never read. One reason is that there is a 18 year gap between the original trilogy and the fourth book. The fifth book is a collection of her short stories set in Earthsea, and then the sixth book was published 11 years after the fourth. Le Guin's conceptualization of fantasy and of the role of women in fantasy changed and matured dramatically over that time and this is reflected in the tenor of the later books, and is something I want to explore during this reread.
The first book introduces us to the young wizard Ged in his formative years and his first major works as he deals with the consequences of a deed done in pride and anger. The language is high fantasy, formal story-telling mode, and both this and Ged's early personality can be off-putting to some readers, but it is a beautiful tale of friendship and redemption. Very much not in the modern style, it is sparse and saga-like in its treatment of motivation and character in its 186 pages published in 1968, with the emphasis on the movement of the story itself.
Good review of The Wizard of Earthsea, Roni. I'll look forward to following your comments on the remaining five.
I remember finishing the first three of the Earthsea books back in the 70s and wishing desperately for more. I only recently found out she had written more - but 18 years later I had moved on and away from high fantasy. I wonder if I'd enjoy going back to it now.
Just popping in to say and to let you know there is a vote going on over on my thread.
>64 ronincats: Still a favorite reading memory of mine. Nicely evoked without oversharing.
Hi Roni! I am taking a break this year from having a thread in the 75er group but I am still finding the odd time to poke my head in and check in on certain threads. Love your cat mug collection! Also glad to see the feline furkids continue to be photogenic (even if they are found in places they shouldn't be). ;-)
I see that your reading continues at a breakneck pace, along with your threads (25 books read in January is impressive)! I continue to enjoy seeing your pottery creations.. you seem to have just as much fun experimenting with the colours as you do with shapes.
>56 ronincats: Adorable! Abby follows sun beams around the house when we get them. She has put in her request for the next house (ha) to have south-facing windows.
>63 souloftherose: Heather, you snuck in! I read two collections of Le Guin's essays last year, and want to continue with them.
>65 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe.
>66 Storeetllr: See the note above about the change in her perspective, Mary, and stay tuned here.
>67 BBGirl55: Voted!
>68 richardderus: Ooh, nice coming from a renowned reviewer!!
>69 FAMeulstee: I've had copies since they were first published, Anita, but a few have fallen apart on me and had to be replaced.
>70 lkernagh: Hi, Lori. I'm checking in over on your thread regularly, even if I'm not speaking up much.
>71 EBT1002: Do it, Ellen!
>72 EBT1002: We do have south-facing windows but our eaves are so broad that the sun only shines through them in the dead of winter when it is low in the sky.
Book #27 The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin (147 pp.)
I think the 3rd Earthsea was my favorite of the original trilogy. I did not have such a good reaction to Tehanu. This is what I wrote in 2011:
The short story collection is very good too.
I am going to try to read the Earths books sometime this year. For this month I'll try to get The Dispossessed off my TBR mountain.
Your pottery is beautiful and inspiring as always. I look forward to having hobbies again one day. :D
I am planning on finally finishing the original Earthsea trilogy for the Category Challenge group read in June. I really liked the first two books so I am looking forward to The Farthest Shore. I have taken note of the continuation thread for the Kencyrath Chronicles, I don't know when I will be continuing on with the next book, but it will probably come in handy to check out the group read.
>64 ronincats: I was very tempted by the Earthsea reread but have decided instead to try to read the Le Guin's in my TBR pile and perhaps make progress with the Hainish Cycle. I think I was aware of the change in views between the first and second three books and am conscious that a lot of people disliked the final books for that reason but I still liked them. Will be interested in your thoughts when you get there.
I've been thinking I should read some LeGuin, and the Earths trilogy is probably a good place to start?
>9 ronincats: Love this quote Roni! I am tempted by the re-read, but have a lot on my plate right now. I may try to join in in June.
>74 RBeffa: I understand that for many people Tehanu is different & difficult. Since I lived through the transition "with" LeGuin, so to speak, the difference did not seem so jarring to me.
>78 BLBera: I was surprised to learn recently that A Wizard of Earthsea was one of LeGuin's first published books. I didn't discover them until I was in college, but I discovered LeGuin in high school in the 1970s. I think the first one I read was The word for world is forest and I was off and running. Hope you enjoy them when you get to them.
>73 ronincats: "We do have south-facing windows but our eaves are so broad that the sun only shines through them in the dead of winter when it is low in the sky."
That is perfect from a cat perspective. We have a large west-facing window in the living room but the sun doesn't make it to that angle in the winter so no sunbeam for herself. And in the summer we often close the blinds because that strong west sun is too intense! So no sunbeam for herself in that instance, either.
I'm telling ya. Abby has a very tough life. It's truly tragic.
Hmm, I could be tempted into an Earthsea re-read. I only read them a few years ago, but I adored them, and your review of book one makes me think I'd like to read it again. I only read the first three as lots of people are quite negative about the later one, although I think I have picked it up somewhere in the meantime. Hmmm. Might go check the thread out.
Hi! Just so you know the Vote on my thread was tied, so please go vote again. Thanks.
Hi, Roni. Wow - the kitties have grown. Our kitties are now bigger than Picasso, but I still think of them as kittens, I guess because they still act very much like kittens!
>74 RBeffa: See below, Ron, where I discuss Tehanu.
>75 jolerie: In about 25 years, Valerie! Hang in there!
>76 DeltaQueen50: You definitely need to read the third book of the original trilogy, Judy!
>77 souloftherose: I've started on the second set, Heather, and yes, have something to say.
>78 BLBera: The Earthsea trilogy is classic high fantasy, Beth, and a great example of its kind. Another of my favorites is Always Coming Home which is anthropological fantasy, if that tickles your fantasy. Or you could dip into collections of her short stories or her essays. She's almost always worth listening to.
>79 markon: Hi, Ardene. You can see my comments on Tehanu below.
>80 EBT1002: Poor, poor Abby. My youngsters really feel her pain.
>81 HanGerg: Hi, Hannah. Read on...
>82 BBGirl55: I did.
>83 rretzler: The youngest two will be 6 months next Tuesday--amazing!
So, I listed The Tombs of Atuan above in >73 ronincats: but did not comment. I will do so now.
Book #27 The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin (147 pp.)
I can remember when this book first came out. I was stunned, yes, taken aback, and not so sure I approved of the change in POV from Ged to this unknown girl, Arha, the Eaten One. It was not only unusual but perhaps unheard of for an epic fantasy to do this, and to have it be a girl...WTF!! Le Guin continues with the formal language proper to the genre in laying out Tenar's history and the setting for half the book--and then Ged appears. We see him as Tenar sees him, with all her biases and limited experience. By now, I am in love with the book and also with Ged. By the end, I am also in love with Tenar.
Book #28 The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin (197 pp.)
Taking place nearly 25 years after the previous book, Earthsea is experience a draining of magic and productivity across the archipelago. While the wizards of Roke debate, Ged takes action in seeking the source, accompanied by a young prince who came bringing word of the fading of magic in his own island of Enlad. Once again the POV shifts in this book and we see Ged and his actions through that prince, Arren. An epic voyage brings the two at last to the westernmost island of Selidor, scene of an epic battle between man and dragon long ago, still sung about. A true classic, this will linger in the mind for a long time.
Book #29 Tehanu by Ursula Le Guin (253 pp.)
Tehanu begins a few days before the end of The Farthest Shore. It inevitably contains spoilers for the previous books, so most of this will be undercover. However, one thing to note before moving to spoiler space--this book is from Tenar's POV and Le Guin is no longer using the formal epic style of language.
Note: I had only read Tehanu once before, probably 28 years ago, and remembered very, very little of it.
>83 rretzler: Some friends of mine had kittens, gotten at 8 weeks old (siblings). It's now a year since they arrived, and they have been christened "kattens" - no longer kittens, but certainly not grown cats (by behavior. They're large enough). Makes perfect sense to me...
>84 ronincats: Your kitties sure look like they have a rough life.....
Bill has always said that he wants to come back as a Bill and Karen kitty 'cuz we spoil them so badly.
>84 ronincats: I especially appreciate your later-life take on Tehanu. I agree with you...in 1990 I could not have made the same kind of sense of what LeGuin is saying that I can now.
I'm sure you've seen this tor.com appreciation of Tamora Pierce. If not, I think it's spot on and encourage you to read it.
It's nice to see the kitten photos and sunshine! We haven't had much of that here lately although, strangely enough, there is sun streaming in the windows right now. Too bad there isn't a cat around to take advantage of it.
A little slow to get this up--my haul from the pottery yesterday!
>86 jjmcgaffey: Definitely kattens, Jenn, and curious about anything new. See them above?
>87 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita.
>88 karenmarie: Quite a life, indeed, Karen!
>89 Crazymamie: Just like it happened to Mayhem and Mischief, I would imagine. ;-)
>90 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. I would have seen it but hadn't been there yet when I read your message. I didn't have the young girl identification with her books--I was 40 when the first was published, but I do have the entire set still.
>91 Familyhistorian: Lots of sunshine here, Meg--we need the rain badly!!
>92 EBT1002: Into everything, Ellen!
Wow about the glaze on that bowl, Roni.
Interesting thoughts about the Earthsea books. I can't comment more because it's been awhile since I last read them, but my last takeaway (maybe fifteen years?) was how serious they are, not your fun fantasy reading at all.
Thank you, Valerie, foggi, Lucy, Chelle and Beth. I was happy with how that glaze came out.
Book #30 Tales from Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin (296 pp.)
I have a beautiful, pristine first-edition hardback copy of this, with lovely maps on the inside covers, in color! And I remember nothing of it. I don't know if I ever read it back when I bought it from Borders in 2001. I know I didn't read the final book after I bought it. And so I am going to count this as a new read and a book off my shelf (ROOT). There are five tales of varying length, ranging from the founding of Roke to nearly 20 years after the events of Tehanu and they are interesting in the way that short stories are in filling in background and describing events that were not covered in the main books. Not the place to start reading about Earthsea, though.
>99 ronincats: I liked this collection of stories quite a lot, Roni. I have the same lovely edition as you and I read it in the order you have, after Tehanu. Every story in this is good. It helps set up the transition to the final novel.
Did you ever see the animated movie with this title? It is not these stories and is sort of an odd mash-up of Earthsea and purists might not like it at all - but I thought it was lovely to look at.
As I'm now starting the final book, Ron, I see how those stories are indeed essential to this story. Every one a building block, so to speak, and it is always good to spend time in Earthsea, at least with Le Guin as our guide. No, I have never seen the animated film, or really any mention of it. I did see the first episode of the terrible TV mini-series, and have fortunately succeeded in expunging most of it from my memory.
Luckily I never watched that scifi channel miniseries on Earthsea. I thought The Other Wind was a satisfying conclusion to the Earthsea books. I'm sure you will like it.
As I recall it still retained a bit of the angry aspect of Tehanu, but not overwhelming. As I've alluded to before I've found le Guin to get way too preachy at times. Didactic storytelling is common and just fine when done well but le Guin tends to club the reader with it. I was a big fan of her early writing like Rocannon's World stories but I still remember reading The Word For World is Forest in the Dangerous Visions Anthology (2nd one?) in the early 70's and just being absolutely repelled by it. She was one of the very few prominent woman writers of the time, like Anne McCaffrey, but I found it hard to believe she had written something like The Word For World is Forest. I should probably read it again now and see what I think of a book I hated. Of course it won all sorts of awards.
>102 RBeffa: Possibly her incandescent rage at the unfairness of the world vis a vis women was overstated in that book.
I learned from reading her essay collection No Time to Spare that she attempted a yintopia, a utopia not based on the masculine/controlling principle, when she wrote Always Coming Home.
Hi Roni, I hope you are having a great weekend. I love both the colors and the shape of that large bowl in >93 ronincats:, it's beautiful.
>104 richardderus: I saw that I had it in a Hugo awards anthology so dug it out and read about the first 25+ pages of it. More than anything it looks like a swat at Vietnam, but it reads like an early script for the film Avatar of all things with a militarized colonization force that looks at the resident humanoid population of the planet like a British colonial probably looked at Indians or 1800's Americans looked at Native Americans, only worse. However the unbelievable misogyny of the male characters is laid on several layers too thick. I'm not sure I'll read any further at the moment.
How could I possibly be 106 messages behind? That's the story though.
I love the kitties and the pottery and enjoy all the LeGuin love......... I ended up liking *Left Hand* and *Dispossessed*, but I could never finish *Coming Home*. I feel inferior, but there it is. Right now I'm going to count reading your thread as my tribute to her. I don't doubt her importance in speculative fiction.
>85 ronincats: Excellent reviews of all three books Roni, I particularly appreciated your thoughts on Tehanu. Looking back at my comments from reading it a few years ago I found the change in tone was something I struggled with a bit but I think it's a book I would appreciate much more now.
>93 ronincats: Also love the glaze on that bowl!
>93 ronincats: Love the galaxy in that bowl! And if you put eggnog in those two cups at the back, they’ll look like they’re overflowing with largesse.
>93 ronincats: Gorgeous pottery, Roni! I love the two middle cups in the back of the photo.
I'll respond to visitors and post The Other Wind later; right now I'm just catching my wind. We are supposed to (keeping fingers crossed) have several days of potential rain starting tomorrow, so I've been in the yard most of the day to this point. Today is a lovely sunny day in the high 60s, perfect for garden work. We planted tomato plants in the big planters we picked up at Costco last week, with the plants and planting soil we also picked up at Armstrong Nurseries. I planted more basil and parsley and swiss chard in my planting beds up front, to go with the kale and arugula and lettuce and spinach already there, along with the peas, and topped off my potted plants on the porch with some fresh potting soil. I had already planted primroses in hanging baskets for the front porch. Then I came around back and repotted in fresh clay pots two epiphyllia whose pots had broken when their stand blew over a week or so ago, took down an ancient cone hanging basket from the deck and replaced the liner and fresh potting soil for the very patient geranium that lives there, topped up the soil on a hoya and a panda plant. Then I trimmed all the bougainvillea that had grown over the fence hanging over my side garden so that I could put up fresh netting for the sweet peas that are at the stage of needing it and discovered 4 green beans on a volunteer vine over there. Also picked my first two sweet peas in bloom and trimmed the bracts off the bougainvillea cuttings to fill three big vases. Here are two of them.
Then we just sat out on the deck and soaked up the sun for a while and watching the hummingbird building a nest in the apricot tree.
>111 ronincats: Oh Roni Now you have got me pretty envious, watching a hummingbird building a nest in the apricot tree.
1 No hummingbirds in Europe, sigh, 2 apricot tree 3 That sunny picture...
>111 ronincats: Oh my goodness i envy your industriousness. I need to check our costco for pots - I seem to get one just about every year. I did pick up a big bag of potting soil last visit. And I did spend quite a bit of time in the yard today but mostly with pruning and cleanup. Did get a pot done full of basil seeds but did not get peas or other things done that I would have liked.
Hummingbirds and sweet peas! Lovely!
Makes me jealous since I’ve got two feet of snow on my lawn!
My balcony garden is a sore point just now - I finally got off my duff and planted potatoes, which were thoroughly sprouted just sitting on the table...and a squirrel decided I was feeding him, d*mit! One potato, with sprouts; one set of leaves and stems, with no potato attached any more; and a scatter of detached roots from the third potato. I covered them back up, watered, and am hoping they're big enough to survive without the potatoes attached. But grrr.
Aside from that, I need to get seeds in - carrots outside, basil etc inside. And buy the seeds for the tomatoes I want to start soon. And get more soil, and clean up my pots, and and... It was a bright gray day today, very chilly even before the high winds came up with evening. I didn't go work in the garden (partly because I'm at my parents' today, but I wouldn't have if I were home, either). Maybe next week it'll warm up enough.
>102 RBeffa: I haven't read The Word for World is Forest ( at least that I remember but I may have read that Dangerous Visions anthology) but I know I found The Dispossessed to be preachy at times.
>103 FAMeulstee: I have to agree, Anita.
>104 richardderus: I have always really liked Always Coming Home, Richard. I could really see her anthropology roots coming out there as she created a culture through poems, songs, and narrative. Never heard the term "yintopia" before but I could see that she was trying to create something that was "other".
>105 DeltaQueen50: It's been a good one, Judy. Thank you.
>106 RBeffa: Are you referring to Always Coming Home, Ron? I fear i didn't find any of her characters unbelievable. They were formed by the cultures of which they were a part and, unfortunately, there was nothing there that has not happened in reality. In Northern California. Even though this was set post-apocalyptic, she drew heavily from the Native American cultures that populated that area in the past.
We did a small group read of this in 2011 and you might be interested in some of the comments, including some quotes by John Scalzi.
>107 LizzieD: Hi, Peggy, thanks for stopping by.
>108 souloftherose: Hi, Heather! I suspect you are right. And thank you.
>109 humouress: I am happy with that glaze, Nina--thanks for the validation.
>110 Crazymamie: Those footed cups are destined to be small planters, as they didn't seal at the bottom so won't hold liquid.
>111 ronincats: A few years ago I had a hummingbird nest right outside my (home) office window, Ella, and shared many pictures here. This one will not be so convenient.
>112 EllaTim: Did most of my pruning last month--that's the month for roses, and then the tree crew came in and trimmed my grapefruit trees when they took out the olive and catalpa trees. I needed to trim the bougainvillea, which I did, and had intended to prune the apricot tree but won't now so I won't disturb the hummingbirds.
>114 ChelleBearss: Yes, it is spring in San Diego. The orchid trees and ornamental pears are in full bloom, I have a jar of tulip bulbs from Costco developing buds in my garden window. It is really too early for putting in the warm weather vegetables but it's been so warm that I'm risking a couple of tomatoes.
>115 jjmcgaffey: Oh, drat, Jenn! Something has been digging up my beds up front again--either possum or skunk looking for the grubs that winter in the soil--but it is disastrous to my plants as well!
Book #31 The Other Wind by Ursula Le Guin (246 pp.)
This book concludes the second trilogy of Earthsea, written some 20 years after the first one. By the time Le Guin came to write this second set, she had come to see gaps in her creation, and assumptions that bothered her. There is an excellent review by "Anne" on Goodreads, where she says, "In The Other Wind Ursula Le Guin has the guts to examine her world for its flaws and inconsistencies and successfully address them within its own myth. Earthsea is still recognizably Earthsea, but more soundly so." I think she succeeded in both deepening and broadening her world--and I'm sure I appreciate this much more now than I would have in my early 20s when I read and loved the first trilogy.
After reading much fewer than usual rereads last year, I seem to be making up for lost time. I always intended, after Diana Wynne Jones' death in 2011, to reread her Dalemark Quartet. The Spellcoats was one of the first of her books I ever read, well over 30 years ago, and read the others over the next ten years, and I don't think I ever read them together as one integrated read--if I did, I've forgotten it. I've read and reread most of her other books much more recently, so it was, and is, time.
Book #32 Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones (214 pp.)
The first three volumes of Diana Wynne Jones's spellbinding quartet of novels were originally published in this country in the 1970s, and soon won the mythical kingdom of Dalemark a place on the literary map.
Cart and Cwidder, the first of these intriguing novels, relates the fortunes of Clennen and his family, itinerant musicians who travel the villages of Dalemark in their colorful cart. With warring earldoms and spies everywhere, there is little contact between the North and South of the country, and so the musicians often carry news-and sometimes, as now, a passenger. Who is this Kialan? Is there any connection between him and the sudden violence that overtakes them? The family's fate and Kialan's are bound together in terror and flight-and in music, for the songs of Dalemark mean more than they say. from Amazon.
In internal chronology, The Spellcoats come first although it was the third written (it's a kind of pre-history), and the fourth book was written 15 years after the others. I think I'll read it next as there are references to it in Drowned Ammet, and I'll react to the books as a whole after I finish.
Wow that is beautiful Roni!
I can't see my porch right now as it is buried under a layer of white stuff. :)
I'm working my way through The Dispossessed right now and hopefully will get to her EarthSea books later this year.
>111 ronincats: I try not to whine about winter too much, Roni, because after all I choose to live in Iowa, but after seeing this picture I want to soak up the sun on your deck while watching hummingbirds! Or anyone's deck, really. I just want to be able to sit outside without worrying about frostbite.
>111 ronincats: Beautiful flowers and sunshine, Roni, great reminder of what is to come.
>86 jjmcgaffey: Kattens - what a great name, Jennifer!
I need to work my way through the Earthsea series. I know I've read some of them many, many years ago, but I can't remember which ones, so I will have to start at the beginning.
We went to the organ concert on Sunday -- I looked for you but it was a big crowd so that doesn't mean you weren't there. But where is our rain?!?
Although we are nowhere near as warm as you are, Roni, we did have a beautiful sunny day yesterday and my husband sat outside and soaked up the sunshine for awhile. Today, however it appears to be very cold out there and we have to make the dreaded trip to the Licencing Bureau to put the change of address in for our driver's licenses. Hope it's not too crowded, I hate to waste my day standing in a line-up!
Looking forward to your thoughts on the Dalemark quartet when you've finished. I remember liking that series but it didn't make quite as big an impression on me as Chrestomanci or Howl's Castle. Gah - now you've got me wanting to reread Dalemark as well as Earthsea....
Since y'all've dealt with >106 RBeffa: ff. already, I'll content myself with a *smooch* and a wave.
My first DWJ was Dogsbody, so that one will always have the strongest effect on me. Other than that, I agree - the Dalemark Quartet is oddly light for as rich as it is.
Well, a one point last evening I looked out and the street was damp :(
Well, I've been remiss, right? I've not posted on here since the 11th, a full week ago. We did have the internet for a couple of hours a few days ago, at the same time that the pilot light on the hot water heater went out and we couldn't get it relit. Fortunately our plumber friend had no difficulty and the ATT people sent me a new modem--but the old one came back up totally on its own after a couple of hours. We've had more lovely weather and some outdoor time, as well as lots of Olympics, and my Jayhawks pulled off two wins in basketball this week after losing last weekend. Nothing came home from the pottery this week, but I threw two saucers for the footed pots above as well as a lot more pieces. Won't have anything next week either; I'll be busy glazing and trimming, though.
>120 humouress: They are so funny, even if they do disarrange things.
>121 jolerie: Valerie, you are so far north of me that I can't even conceptualize your weather!
>122 rosalita: That is the advantage of this climate, Julia. We might have some snow up in our mountains this week though.
>123 Familyhistorian: It's coming, Meg!
>124 rretzler: That's a plus, Robin!
>125 RebaRelishesReading: No, we ended up staying home all day, Reba. Today too.
>126 DeltaQueen50: Oh, the dreaded DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) visit! They are dreaded here too, Judy.
>127 souloftherose:, >128 curioussquared:, >129 foggidawn:, >132 jjmcgaffey: The Spellcoats is the one most read, I think. The other three are more typical children's fantasy, I think, and without the humor that makes Howl and Chrestomanci stand out. But The Spellcoats has its own magic and beauty. I like Fire and Hemlock as well, but the other ones I love are the Dark Lord books. Dogsbody was one of my first DWJs as well, Jenn, and I loved it passionately and cried my eyes out at the end every single time.
>130 richardderus: Hi, Richard. I finished that book finally. See below.
>131 rretzler: Thanks for missing me, Robin.
>133 RebaRelishesReading: It actually rained here for an hour or two, Reba, that evening. We are grateful for it.
Book #33 The Spellcoatsby Diana Wynne Jones (279 pp.)
Book #34 Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones (312 pp.)
Book #35 The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones (471 pp.)
The first three books of this quartet were published in the mid to late 1970s and I read them then. The final book was published in 1993 and I don't think I found it until over 10 years later. I'm not sure I've ever read all four consecutively. These are children's fantasy, set in an alternative world of somewhat medieval character, as so many of them are. The Spellcoats is prehistory, occurring long before the other three books, and so shares no characters, while the other three are interconnected in "modern" Dalemark and deal with political oppression and freedom fighting as a background to the children's characters. These were some of Jones' earliest novels and more traditional than most, I would say, but The Spellcoats is both original and beautiful, a true classic.
Book #36 The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden (383 pp.)
Futuristic science-fiction/fantasy set in South Africa, this is the author's debut novel. It took me quite a while to read as I did so in short segments due to two features of the book--the multiple viewpoint characters and quite a bit of violence. Both always affect my ability to lose myself in a book and I had to force my way through. That said, the characters are wonderfully diverse, but by splitting my time between 5 major viewpoint characters, I had trouble getting close to any of them. Similarly, there are nearly half a dozen major story threads weaving themselves through the book, and it was not until nearly the end that everything began to link up and make sense and carry me along with it. It is brash, modern, fast-moving, kaleidoscopic--the author definitely has potential! And she spends a large paragraph in her acknowledgements thanking a certain Richard Derus for his mentoring in making her an author! Way to go, Richard!!
>Book #37 Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (218 pp.)
>Book #38 In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce (211 pp.)
>Book #39 The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce (228 pp.)
>Book #40 Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce (308 pp.)
These books came out when I was in my thirties and so I was not the target audience when I encountered them. I am rereading Pierce now because she has just released the first book of a new series focused on a character we meet in the Tortall books (although in the next series, not this one) and it's been so long since I read them that I didn't remember anything besides his name. This series is very beloved of many who read them as young girls and women and loved this tale of Alanna disguising herself as a boy and earning her Knighthood and then figuring out what she wants to do in this medievalistic alternative world. Reading it as an adult, this first series by Pierce is definitely not her best writing, but foreshadows her continuing concerns with personal liberty, acceptance, and respect embedded throughout her books. Yes, her heroines tend to be Mary Sues, but her kingdom of Tortall and its world are enjoyable places to visit and interesting people to think about. Continuing on into The Immortals quartet.
>138 ronincats: Oh, that brings back good memories, Roni. Our daughter, who was maybe 12 or so at the time, loved those books, so her Mom and I read them, too. We all enjoyed them, and enjoyed talking about them. I'm sure you're right that it's not her best writing, but it sure is fun storytelling.
>140 jnwelch: Exactly, Joe, and that is the perfect age for a girl to read them for the first time!!
>134 ronincats: I must join you in being remiss, Roni. Have been struggling to keep up all year.
Time enough though to wish you a lovely remainder of your Sunday.
>139 ronincats: Well, that's a little disappointing. But all things considered, I can do without the robot. I just want to read a story about that girl.
Had to go reread my own review of Always Coming Home. More has remained with me than of some other LeGuin books, interestingly enough. An original effort to be sure. And now I am feeling like rereading Earthsea. Really, Roni, you are dangerous!
Hi Roni, I've been away from most of the threads for a couple of weeks and it's always painful trying to catch up with everyone. From your last thread I'm currently reading and enjoying The travelling cat chronicles, I had to wait ages for my turn at the library for it.
I'm now on the lookout for a couple of new feline additions to our household, at present I've looked at a few but not seen any that suit our situation. Many rescue cats need to go to a pet free home and we have one cat already, so waiting for Friday when I return to the RSPCA as they bring out more kittens then for weekend visitors and hopefully we'll find a couple of little friends to take home.
Hi, Roni! I enjoyed your reviews of the Earthsea books. My story is that I loved the original trilogy and looked for a fourth book for years before giving up and moving on. I just found out (thru you, I think) that she wrote three more twenty years after the first three.
>145 richardderus: That is so cool! I'll have to pick up the book, if for no other reason than because you are mentioned in it. It does sound interesting, though.
Whereas you are doing the gardening I enjoy my ski holiday at Davos. Deep winter and lots of snow here. Big waves.
>142 PaulCranswick: Always good to see you here, Paul!
>143 swynn: I hope you enjoy it, Steve.
>144 sibyx: I love being dangerous as long as it doesn't result in people not visiting me here!
>145 richardderus: Well-deserved praise, I am sure, Richard.
>146 avatiakh: Hi, Kerry! New felines? What fun! Hope you find a pair of kittens to liven up (and disarrange) your home soon.
>147 souloftherose: Hi, Heather!
>148 Storeetllr: Mary, I think you should definitely look up the final three books!
>149 Ameise1: I was enjoying the pictures on your thread, Barbara, and thinking how COLD they look!
Book #41 Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce (299 pp.)
Book #42 Wolf-Speaker by Tamora Pierce (281 pp.)
Book #43 Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce (294 pp.)
Book #44 The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce (281 pp.)
I am too old for this series. Pierce's books are labeled YA, but I'd really put them at 12-13 year old girls optimum level. I know Daine's story of her discovery of her wild magic and her heritage, and of Tortall's problems both with Carthak and the immortals the Carthakian mages have unleashed on the mortal world, are some readers' favorites. While I agree with Pierce's ecological issues, I feel they come more to the fore in the story than I like, becoming preachy and obvious. And then there is Daine, seen from age 13 to 16. While Alanna was nearly perfect, she had to work very hard for it. Daine, although granted she had to suffer because of it, is able to use her "natural" gifts to destroy whole cities without much training at all. And there's too much "deus ex machina" in these stories--granted, that's because the gods are present a whole bunch in this quartet!! And then there's the relationship with Numair...
So, I'm not going straight on to the Protector of the Small quartet as I'd originally planned. I need a break. And I have to decide if I want to keep these on my shelves. That's 12 paperbacks that could move off and make room for books I am more likely to reread again. These, I can always get from the library. But what to do with them? I gave the Circle of Magic books, which I do really like, to my school library, thinking them quite age appropriate. I have concerns about giving these books to that library because in the first quartet, Alanna does engage in sex as a young and unmarried woman. I actually like the way Pearce makes it normal and no big deal, but in an elementary school library? Nothing so explicit in this quartet, other than the recognition of the romantic relationship at the end, but still a large age imbalance. I don't remember if there is anything in the last quartet that would be objectionable. Anne and foggi, what do you think? Do you have them in your libraries?
>150 ronincats: I’ve always thought that the Daine quartet was the weakest of the bunch, and the age difference between her and Numair was a bit squicky. I tend to shelve all of the Tortall books in Teen, though I agree that they are young teen. I’d probably not give them to an elementary school library, though they’d be fine in a middle school.
(ETA: In Kell’s quartet, I think there’s some talk about sex, along the lines of what’s present in Alanna’s quartet.)
Yes, I thought middle school would be perfect. Thanks for the validation.
I finally ordered a copy of The Wizard of Earthsea. Even not having ever read it, the discussion herein has been compelling.
Out of lurk from way back to speak. Hi, (((((((Roni))))))).
I've said before - maybe here - that I just couldn't read Always Coming Home the only time I tried. I am now so overbooked that I don't know that I'll ever try again. Maybe.
>153 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. We are even chillier here than Arizona is--highs about 60 the last two days, and down into the high 30s at night! Le Guin's writing is always compelling, and her storytelling powers are strong in the Earthsea series.
>154 LizzieD: Hi, Peggy. Yes, I know. I do not hold it against you. It's like reading an anthropologist's notebooks on a culture, and that's an acquired taste. Don't force yourself. Oh, yes, and (((((Peggy)))))!
Today was spent at home. Played Farmville II and Farmville: Tropical Escape a lot. Put together an Elfa cart that I bought yesterday for my crafts. Had been using a craft organizer from Michaels that just wasn't sturdy enough for the weight of beads I wanted to store in it, and spent way too much even at 30% off, but those Elfa products last forever.
Except all single depth drawers like the top one, and on wheels on the latter.
>155 ronincats: I love Elfa! Except for the master bedroom closet, which was a walk-in and already had shelving, the rest of our closets are Elfa, plus our laundry room, two desks/shelving in the family room and some shelving in the garage! It is great stuff and very long-lasting. Hope you were able to take advantage of the sale.
>150 ronincats: Hi Roni! No, I do not have these books in my library. I looked them up in Titlewave (my vendor; also has professional reviews), and they are recommended for grades 6-9, so they fall outside of my collection guidelines. I would say either a middle or high school would be an appropriate place to donate them. Even if they are young for HS, most HS libraries have popular series for younger readers also (Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, etc.), and this kind of fantasy still really resonates with older teens too. Hope that helps!
>155 ronincats: I haven't indulged in Elfa, my particular vice being Metro wire shelving - in the kitchen, sewing room, family room, living room (actually a combo work table and warp weighted loom) and all over the garage. But every September the Container Store has a sale on Elfa and Metro, and this year I might opt for some Elfa to get sewing tools out of boxes and into somewhere more accessible.
>156 rretzler: My other Elfa is the shelving system on the wall above the sleeper sofa in my office, Robin. I have so little closet space that we just cram it with clothes on hangers, albeit on two levels, and work with armoires and dressers to handle everything else.
>157 Ameise1: Very colorful, Barbara, but not sturdy enough.
>158 AMQS: Thanks for chiming in, Anne. I do appreciate your input. I have a middle school across the street--I may just walk these over there.
>159 quondame: They have a sale twice a year here, Susan, and this is one of the months, which is why I indulged. You weave? I did some table looming in my 20s and have always wished to get back to it.
No reading so far today. I did receive a book in the mail, After the Crown. I wanted to continue the series after getting the first in a deal on Kindle but didn't want to pay $9.99 for the Kindle version of the second so ordered a used book online. Also received Charlie & Mouse which is a beginning reader that won the ALA award for that category--I ordered it to donate to my elementary school library when I go in to read for Read Across America next week.
Went to the pottery this morning. Was hoping for rain, but only got sprinkles. Chilly though, so I'm wearing a turtleneck and sweater today. My stuff I thought would be out of the bisque kiln ready for glazing wasn't, so I trimmed what I threw last week and then threw 4 more pieces on the wheel. That means nothing ready to bring home next week either. :-(
I have two children's books I need to read before next Tuesday so I can add them to the books I'm donating to the school, Zahrah the Windseeker and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, another Gary Schmidt. So I think I'll prioritize them. I brought Akata Warrior and Omens, recommended by Peggy, home from the library today. I had ordered another book, The Book of Secrets, recommended by someone, BUT the book I got was a "how to" of household tasks, NOT what I wanted, and now I can't find who and which one I intended to get.
Sipping my wine, having a bowl of chili with extra sharp cheddar grated on top, and watching the Olympics--life is good.
I'm thinking of getting those Tamora Pierce books for my 8yo step-daughter Deirdre. Though right now she's in the middle of a lot of books, so it may have to wait until she's closer to 12, lol.
>160 ronincats: So far just tablet weaving and some other narrow wares. Oh, and Elfa is on sale here too now. Oh well, I'm spent out for the month. My little mini-dachshund ate her self into a huge vet bill.
Sipping my wine, having a bowl of chili with extra sharp cheddar grated on top, and watching the Olympics--life is good
Sounds like a great night to me!
>150 ronincats: No new felines as yet. We went and looked and very few available as pairs, lots of single cats, and almost all of them only suitable to go to a 'no pet' home. I'm starting to get disheartened that I'll ever find a couple of cute boy kittens that can come to a home where we already have a cat, I've never come across all this officialdom on homing some stray cats before.
>164 avatiakh: It's a shame you don't live nearer here. I'm always seeing multiple cat postings (as well as the ones where they want to be single cats). I'm so happy I adopted the whole litter when I did. They play so well together. I hope you find some fur boys soon!
>161 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. Maybe a year or two, anyway.
>162 quondame: Oh, dear! Hope she's okay.
>163 ChelleBearss: It was a good night, Chelle.
>164 avatiakh: I was going to say that kitten season is coming up, with its usual surplus, but then realized that it ISN'T in your hemisphere. Good luck on your search.
>165 thornton37814: Ditto, Lori.
So, they are doing a Wheel of Time reread on the Tor site, although it's a first time read for the person writing about it. You won't believe this, fantasy reader that I am, but I've never read aught but the first book of that series. Thought it a bit too derivative of Tolkien, but now she says that was deliberate! I know so many have loved the series that I am tempted...such a commitment, though.
Roni, it took me 2 years to finish the entires series but I thought it was worthwhile. Of course there will be some books in the series that are stronger than others but Jordan does a fantastic job finishing it up. :D
>166 ronincats: We still have a few more weeks, our season starts early December. Adopting kitties used to be a word of mouth thing, but nowadays everyone gets their cats desexed.
Book #45 Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt (219 pp.)
Schmidt does his usual excellent story-telling work, but this tale, based on a true historical event, is truly heart-breaking.
>167 jolerie:, >168 Oberon: I know I need to read the series, so should let this Tor discussion motivate me to get it started. Thanks for the input.
>169 avatiakh: That's a good thing, Kerry, but does make it harder to adopt. Try some local farms?
Book #46 Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor (308 pp.)
This was so good! And it was her FIRST book! Amazing! Yes, it's a children's book, but very well-written and excellent world-building and very entertaining.
Both of these last two are not only books off my shelves (ROOTS) but also will be some of the 6 books I am donating to the Otis School library when I go to read to classrooms for Read Across America Day on Tuesday.
Hi Roni, we've been getting a lot snow over the last couple of days - just when I thought spring was here. My husband loves seeing the snow come down and know that he doesn't have to face shovelling it anymore. I am finally starting I Dare which I have been meaning to get to all month!
Winter has come here as well, Judy! Snow in our mountains, but days in the high 50s here--we aren't wearing shorts and t-shirts any more. I Dare is one of my favorites--enjoy!
So today I finished Zahrah and watched my KU Jayhawks clinch at least a share of the conference championship for the 14th straight year, breaking UCLA's record of 13 in the John Wooden years. We celebrated by going out for Chinese: moo-shi pork, mandarin beef and sea bass in black bean sauce. Yum! Back home (too chilly to be out wandering around) with my glass of wine to watch the Olympics--bobsleds at the moment. How about that curling gold, huh?
Hi Roni, lots of good reading going on here. I need to get to Okarofor as well, her books sound wonderful.
>173 ronincats: Hm, black bean sauce, my favourite.
Have fun watching the Olympics. Curling is still considered pretty weird here, we mainly watch for entertainment;-)
Hi Roni! Congratulations on your Jayhawks and yay to the US men for curling Gold.
Your days are cooler than ours - not typical for San Diego vs central North Carolina! It's supposed to get to 76F today and it's so warm that we're seeing daffodils, redbuds, and forsythia all blooming. Last frost is late April, so some of the blooms might get damaged. This is something I never worried about when I lived in CA.
>176 EllaTim: I liked Trevor Noah’s comment on the Russian curler who was disqualified for testing positive for drugs “What a waste of steroids!”
>171 ronincats: This looks beautiful, Roni. Onto the list it goes. Have fun reading in the classroom. What age do you read to?
I have been indulging in my quadrennial love fest with winter sports as well. I enjoyed watching the curling. I got interested in the sport because of a book (no surprise). The book was Resurection by Wolf Haas. In the book a group of Swiss towns people are playing a game of Curling in the summer and the author talks about how popular the game is in Europe as an all season sport. It made me wonder, and so I watched the games as it was broadcast. Haas was write - it is a thinking persons game and involves a whole lot of strategy.
I also like the skiing events, and love the speed skating (not short track), but am really disgusted with the Little Girls Figure Skating contests.
As for basketball, there is lots of drama in that game right now here in Alabama. The surprise season that Auburn is having, and the FBI investigations that have hit both UA and AU hard. Too bad the FBI wasn’t looking into football, but that might prove to be to much of a mess in these two schools to ever clean up. It is becoming clear that the NCAA hasn’t’s done a very good job of policing itself and its members.
Stopping by to say hello, now that I've finally added myself to the 2018 group.
I mean to write up my notes for God Stalk and add them to the Hodgell continuing group read thread. It was really interesting to re-read God Stalk slowly and really pay attention and ponder such things as the titles of the 3 sections. My notes involve organizing what she shares about the Kencyrath in the story (not the appendix). And then see how that understanding progresses through the series.
Hi Roni! I see almost everyone is reading (or rereading) The Earthsea books while I've started the Hainish Cycle. I'm clearing out of sequence for reading Le Guin this year.
>166 ronincats: As for the whole Wheel of Time thing, I remember a boyfriend insisting that I read Eye of the World - but I don't recall being overwhelmed. I almost of you give it a try, just so I can find out what you think of it!
As always, I love the kattens and the pottery - especially the blue!
>183 Dejah_Thoris: I enjoyed the whole WoT series (multiple times really except for the last, and who needs to live through the Last Battle more than once!) but as the series got to the seventh or eighth book it was more in the guilty pleasures, hang out with a familiar crowd sort of way.
Thanks for the joke for Scout, Roni. I'll let you know what she thinks of it.
I read the whole Wheel of Time series, and enjoyed it. But it's an undertaking. After the first 5 or so were very successful, they started getting longer and longer - I thought they stopped editing him (pushing him to tighten them up), since the books were selling so well. Brandon Sanderson did a great job, IMO, of finishing out the series based on Robert Jordan's outlines after Jordan died. It's a 15 book fantasy series.
Wow, 15 books, that is quite a commitment. I have the first two in an audio version but not sure when I will get to them. BTW, I am loving I Dare!
I have never finished the whole *Wheel* (I believe I got to #11 or so), but I love it enough to start again from time to time. It has its massive faults, but it also has amazing compensations for them. ((((((Roni)))))
>186 jnwelch: As much as I love the series, I think this criticism is pretty accurate. For me, I found the series totally engrossing up through The Fires of Heaven (my favorite of the series). Books 6, 7, and 8 kind of meandered and got back on track around Winter's Heart. Things accelerated nicely from there and the final three written by Brandon Sanderson were well done.
The Tor read along seems like an excellent way to work through the series.
>174 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara. I'm glad you have another week off before you go back to work.
>175 souloftherose: Who Fears Death is more of an adult book due to the amount of violence, Heather, but I've enjoyed Okorafor's story-telling in all her books. I have Akata Warrior here from the library to read soon.
>176 EllaTim: One of my favorite sauces too, Ella, along with garlic sauces.
>177 karenmarie: My Jayhawks won again last night, Karen, and are now alone at the top of the conference. We are having winter here--half an inch of rain here last night and over 5 inches of snow in our mountains, highs in the mid 50s today. But it's a nice change for us.
>178 humouress: That is funny, Nina.
>179 BLBera: This was her first published book, Beth, and it is really good.
>180 benitastrnad:, >181 benitastrnad: Olympics are over now, but The Voice is taking its place to some degree in my television watching! The Big 12 does not seem to have been hit hard in the FBI investigation, fortunately, although there are some players and families whose dealings with agents are being questioned.
>182 justchris: Chris, I am definitely looking forward to your notes. Your comments are always so insightful!
>183 Dejah_Thoris: That's what I did, Dejah. Read the first one at some point and then didn't continue. But I think the time has come.
>184 quondame:, >186 jnwelch:, >189 Oberon:, >191 jnwelch: Thanks for all the input, Susan, Joe and Eric. I won't falter when I hit the weak ones because you've let me know it gets better after that.
>185 BLBera: I'm terrible at remembering jokes, Beth, but that one has been a staple for me for years. Hope Scout likes it.
>187 DeltaQueen50: I Dare is one of my favorites, Judy, so I'm glad you are loving it too.
>188 LizzieD: Hugs to you, Peggy. See below.
>190 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. I've been following along on your thread but without much to say. I'll have to speak up and say hi there too.
Book #47 Omens by Kelley Armstrong (487 pp.)
Peggy (LizzieD) strongly recommended this book and my local library branch had it so I picked it up. The book is very readable--I read it in two days and it flowed smoothly throughout. The characters are interesting although their situations (she, confused and trying to find her balance; he, unfeeling, obnoxious, potentially redeemable) are very predictable and so common in urban fantasy that it often puts me off the genre. This first book barely scratches the surface of what is going on, only hints of fantasy, and I probably will continue the series, especially since I've already ordered the second book from another library branch.
>170 ronincats: I added that one to my TBR, although it sounds like it will be a sad story.
Glad to see you enjoyed Omens. I've read all of Armstrong's works and really enjoy her! She is a local author from a town about 30 mins from me.
Books read: 22
Pages read: 6424
Average pages per day: 229
Average pages per book: 292
New reads: 6
Library books: 2
Books off the shelf (ROOTS): 4
New acquisitions read: 0
Did Not Finish (DNF): 0
science fiction 1
Author gender: 21 female, 1 male
Country of origin: USA 18, England 4
Medium: Kindle 0, Hardback 5, trade paper 1, mass market paper 16
Books acquired: 2
Source: Used Book Stores - 2
Read: 0 read this month
Genre: science fiction-2
Books out the door: 7, all ROOTS
Donated to school library 5
This was the month of the rereads, with 4 of Le Guin's Earthsea books, 4 of Diana Wynne Jones' Dalemark series, and 8 of Tamora Pierce's Tortall series. However, I also read 4 books off my shelves, the final two Earthsea books and two Children's books that were then donated. The other two were a science fiction and a fantasy from the library.
Happy March, Roni! Looks like you had a great month! 21 female authors, that's pretty cool!
Good job reading books from your shelves, Roni. You had a great month of reading.
Mornin' Roni. I've been getting over to the park more often this year. It's such a cool place, especially on weekends when it's really well used.
All caught up here, Roni! Very impressive February stats - your February reading equals my totals for both January and February. Heh.
>199 ronincats: So pretty!
Hoping that your Friday is full of fabulous!
Impressive reading as always Roni!
Love your picture as well. Total opposite of what I see outside my window and I think I prefer your view better. ;)
>201 richardderus: Thank you, Richard. Sending hugs, but watch out for frothings of the mouth over that doctor you saw.
>202 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! Because I was rereading series, that works out to 5 actual female authors writing 21 books.
>203 BLBera: If only I could count the rereads for books off my shelves, Beth! All of them were.
>204 RebaRelishesReading: It is a lovely place, indeed, Reba.
>205 Crazymamie: A lovely Friday indeed, spent at home clearing out paperwork and dealing with bills and mail. Not bad, really.
>206 jolerie: You are a wee bit north of me, Valerie. Makes all the difference!
Heh. That happens a lot with me - I read a series, or a bunch of books by one author, and it tips my balance. Which is usually way over on the female side - I think the only month since I started tracking gender of author that male outnumbered female, it was about 90% one male - reading Mike Shepherd's Kris Longknife series, in nearly its entirety.
Hi, Roni. Just trying to get caught up with all the threads.
>170 ronincats: That book has been tempting me for years, but for some reason I've held off, which perhaps makes me glad as I don't do heart-breaking really well.
>208 jjmcgaffey: Hi, Jenn. Haven't seen you around much! Which led to me initiating a search--do you have a thread this year? I don't see you in the Threadbook for the 75ers nor in the Category Challenge group.
Shepherd P'O'd me in the first Kris Longknife book by using some very questionable pseudo-psychology to set up her character, so I didn't continue with the series.
>209 rretzler: Hi, Robin. You've been busy! I don't do heartbreaking so well either, but I didn't realize the danger until the very end. And so well done that I can't regret it, but I'm glad I didn't know in advance.
So, I've been absent for a couple of days. Friday a low-pressure front starting moving in and between the concomitant headache and an attempt at a UTI, I didn't have a lot of energy Friday or Saturday. Nor did my Jayhawks, who lost the last regular season game miserably at Oklahoma State. I did spend a lot of time with The Eye of the World, however. Yesterday I felt better, the sun came out, and we went up to the San Dieguito Farmers Market to eat some of Emilio's wonderful paella. Came back along the coast--this is Torrey Pines State Beach.
AND then we stopped at Mysterious Galaxy before heading for home. I bought:
Silence by Michelle Sagara--The first in a new series, I bought it because she's publishing it under the same name as the Elantra series that I love, and so I'm hoping for the same love here.
The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst--The second of this series has just come out and was on the new publications shelf and looked interesting when I picked it up, so I got this first-of-series book to check it out.
The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson--I read the first two books of her Death's Daughter series and wasn't impressed enough to pick up the rest of the series as they came out. They were okay, entertaining, but nothing different than all the rest of the urban fantasy glut. This is the first of a new series and I've picked it up to see if maybe she's matured as an author--still urban fantasy, though.
The Skill of our Hands by Steven Brust and Skyler White--the Incrementalists are by no means the favorite series by Brust (Vlad Taltos reigns!!), but I've read the first and this is the second of the series--we'll see how it goes.
Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye--When I saw this, I remembered that several 75ers have mentioned it, and of course I am a Jane Eyre fan, so we'll see how it goes.
Thank you, Jim. I looked at Six Wakes and decided to get it from the library instead.
Well, since posting above I've finished the book I've been working on all weekend.
Book #48 The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (800 pp.)
I may have started this book, lo, those many years ago, but I certainly never finished it. I would have remembered. Even after over 20 years. Anyway, I had picked up this paper copy after Sanderson finished the series, figuring I would get back to it eventually. Now, spurred on by the Tor read-along as well as the desire to get the physical book off my shelves (I had also gotten the Kindle version at some point as a 99¢ special and that turned out to be more convenient to read), I have started the series once more, and this definitely counts as a ROOT, a book off my shelves. Classic epic fantasy here, owing a lot to Tolkien and even more to the tropes of epic fantasy, this series is so beloved of so many that I have to read it just to maintain my reputation of being knowledgeable about the genre!! I would have bought the next books for my Kindle, but they are still around $10 there, so I have the next on order from the library.
What to read next? A library book, one of my new purchases, something in the tbr stacks? The Michelle Sagara book now, or save it to savor later? Something quick and light, like the Benson?
>211 ronincats: heckuva haul!
I have nothing polite to say about Robert Jordan, so I'll wish you happy reads.
Hello, Richard dear!! Is it about the author personally or what he wrote? I don't know enough about either.
>211 ronincats: Beautiful picture. The weather was lovely up here too. Perfect weather for a funeral, which was sad, but not someone very close, so mostly reflected sadness. I've just reserved all those books at the libraries. I'm currently discontent with the story collection I'm reading and don't have too much else checked out.
>213 ronincats: I think long series epic fantasy has moved in a very different tone since 1990 when The Eye of the World was written - and it WoT was one of the reasons it became popular enough to move on. I appreciate both Robert Jordan's somewhat corny moments and Sanderson's not subjecting readers to them any more.And the disciplinary physical abuse that pervades the stories never seemed valid.
>211 ronincats: Glad you were feeling better, and that coastline looks inviting.
Yay for book hauls and double yay for finishing the first book in the series. You read that fast! You will get through all of them in no time. :D
>211 ronincats: Well, that's gorgeous! I remember reading The Eye of the World many years ago - back when Craig and I were first married, and it had just come out. My SIL recommended it to us. We both read the first five and six books as they came out, but then it got to be too much for me - too many characters and side stories. It'll be interesting to follow your impressions as you read through them.
>211 ronincats: Is Emilios a stand at the market? We talked about going to a local restaurant with friends for paella and then they stopped doing it so you may have given us a new option.
>213 ronincats: I read that last year, in my attempt to clear some longstanding TBRs. It was all right, but I feel no desire to read the rest of the series -- not even considering that Sanderson wrote the last few.
>210 ronincats: Hi! I've been reading the threads, I guess I haven't commented here much. I'm in Club Read this year (and last), rather than the 75ers - since I usually blow away my goal of 150 books, 75 was feeling a little inappropriate. My thread is here.
I completely agree about Kris Longknife - the character is seriously wonky (though she almost makes sense compared to some of her family...), and the world has some amazing holes in it. But I was sick (nasty cold) and mostly brainless, and it was perfect brain candy (addictive but non-nutritious). There's several new books, one new KL and a couple spinoff series, and I'm waiting to read them until I'm in a similar situation...
You are doing well with the book stats, Roni. That book haul should help!
I finished the second October Daye, Roni, and I'm ready to read more. I'm glad to know from you and Mamie that the series gets even better.
>217 quondame: Fantasy certainly has come a long way in that time, Susan. Since I bounced on this book the first time around, feeling it too derivative, I'm really coming at it from a historical angle. Part of that is discovering this first book was intended to be derivative in homage to LOTR, so I'm interested in seeing what the second book gets up to.
>218 sirfurboy:, >219 ChelleBearss: Hi, Stephen and Chelle! Thanks for stopping by.
>220 jolerie: I'll probably slow down some, Valerie, but thanks for the encouragement.
>221 Crazymamie: Beach views here usually are, Mamie. We'll see how long I last in the Wheel of Time series--knowing Sanderson finished them off makes me want to last through it.
>222 RebaRelishesReading: Emilio's Paella is indeed a stand at the San Dieguito Farmers market on Sundays, 9:30 to 2. I've not tasted better since Andalusia closed up by UCSD over 30 years ago. It's $10 a plate or $20 for a family pack, which the husband and I can finish off--we usually eat one right then and bring another one or two home for later. SO delicious.
>223 foggidawn: That's how I felt when I first tried the series (before Sanderson finished it off), but it has been so beloved by so many for so long, I want to give it a fair try.
>224 jjmcgaffey: Found your thread; thanks so much for the link! Brain candy I can understand.
>225 Familyhistorian: Ah, but my acquisition stats have taken a hit, Meg.
>226 majleavy: Oh, good to know!
>227 jnwelch: Glad you want to continue, Joe. Enjoy!
Yesterday we went and saw the matinee performance of The Post, which was excellent. AND it only cost us $5 for the tickets!! Couldn't believe it. AMC had started a new policy of reduced prices on Tuesday, so it's only $5 a ticket for seniors, at least, and I had enough points on my Stubs card to take another $5 off. Then we made a library stop and then the local nursery to sign up for the craft fair next month. I took advantage of that last stop to pick up some succulent plugs for my three-footed pots; I'm glazing the saucers for them tomorrow (as they are not water-tight, which makes them good for plants).
>228 ronincats: Lovely pots - is the lower portion porous or are there actual holes?
I like the succulent pots!
I liked The Post a lot -- saw it at a matinee for $7.50 I think but you really got a deal!!
Thanks for the Emilio's info. We're going to get up there as soon as we can.
Stopping by for a quick hello, Roni. Have you read A Robot in the Garden? It's a very light and quick read but also very charming. I am finding that having my husband at home all the time has definitely cut into my LT time and I am trying not to let it cut into my reading time. He needs a hobby (and one that doesn't involve me) as he is struggling with retirement.
>213 ronincats: I started the audiobook 5 or so years ago, and just couldn't keep focused on it - which is usually a bad sign. After restarting several times, I finally decided to postpone my listening to a later date and have never gotten around to trying it again. I hope you have more success reading it than I did listening.
>229 quondame: There are actual (small) holes. That's why I need the saucers--glazed those today.
>230 RebaRelishesReading: I know! And let me know when you try Emilio's paella.
>231 DeltaQueen50: I saw that review on your thread, Judy, but hadn't heard of the book before that. Yes, husbands who are around all the time DEFINITELY cut into both LT and reading time here. Definitely get him involved in something! Hobby or volunteer work, whatever!
>232 rretzler: I could never do something this long and complex on audio, Robin, so I cheer you on for trying.
Studio time today! Here's what I brought home today.
And this one didn't make it home with me, as I had the retired teachers luncheon right afterwards and gave it as a gift to one of my best friends for her birthday.
Book #49 The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson (294 pp.)
Well, that was a waste of $7.99 and a couple of hours. Should have read the reviews here on LT before picking it up on a whim at the bookstore. Her first series, Death's Daughter, was better even if it wasn't my cup of tea. The obligatory sex scene, a lot of setting up situations, and dwelling on abusive relationships...won't be giving Benson another chance.
Book #50 The Dispatcher by John Scalzi (128 pp.)
To cleanse my palate, I read this novella by Scalzi, a science fictional exploration of a situation where persons who are killed come back to life in their home, stark naked. It's actually an interesting mystery set in this alternate world.
>233 ronincats: As always you made some beautiful pottery, Roni!
This time my favorites are the big blue bowl in the first picture and the birthday present in the second.
I wouldn't mind that big mug on the left. Like that warm brown. And it's a nice size, for a cup of coffee for example.
>233 ronincats: I love the teapot. I'm sure that getting the spout on and working properly must be a delicate process.
>234 ronincats: I picked up that Scalzi on sale a few months ago, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm looking forward to the sci-fi combined with a mystery - my two favorite genres that aren't put together nearly enough (but I completely understand how hard it is to make that combination work well.)
>213 ronincats: I'm now feeling really quite tempted to join in with reading the Robert Jordan series. I read the first two books a few years ago and I can't remember why I stopped (I have a vague recollection that perhaps the library didn't have the next book) but the library has the entire series now. I just feel a bit overbooked with reading projects at the moment and they are looong books.
>233 ronincats: The colours in the bowl you gave as a gift are lovely and I also like the bright blues in the picture above. As Robin says the teapot must have been a lot of work.
Lucky friend to get that bowl, the glaze is so layered and beautiful. I like the little pots too.
I couldn't hack Jordan yonks ago when I tried them -- but I get how you could come at them from a different angle. I'll be curious what you think of the story asit moves onward. That happens -- a story starts derivatively and then takes on a life of its own.
Those blues are gorgeous. I love the teapot...so tempted to try it myself. But I think I'll focus on mugs for a while, until I actually get one that works - then try to replicate it.
>228 ronincats: ... very quickly, love the colours coming through the white glaze.
That teapot is fabulous and in my favorite color, too! A dear friend of mine who is no longer with us threw pottery and he always said that teapots were really tough to do because they (at least his) had a tendence to collapse in the kiln if they were formed properly. He did make me a teapot and I treasure it even more knowing that.
Preparing for Saturday's craft show, first of the season--although if it is pouring down rain like they predict, I won't go.
And from the other end of the table:
Having to price the new stuff and pack everything economically in the boxes seen at the back.
>235 quondame: Indeed!
>236 FAMeulstee: Thank you so much, Anita.
>237 LizzieD: She's a good one, Peggy.
>238 EllaTim: It's a good size, holds a full pint (2 cups, 16 fluid ounces, .47 liters). For the serious coffee drinker.
>239 rretzler: Teapots are complex, but not that difficult except that fitting a lid is always difficult for me. You have to throw the body, the spout, and the lid, and then pull the handle, and assemble and trim it all. The Scalzi is a quick read, Robin.
>240 souloftherose: Thanks, Heather. And the Wheel of Time series is a huge commitment, I understand.
>241 sibyx: I dropped a lot of 70s and 80s fantasy for being too derivative, but understanding that the first book here is intended to be derivative got me through it this time, and I want to see where it goes.
>242 BLBera: Thank you, Beth.
>243 thornton37814: I haven't done many lately, Lori, because they weren't selling. I price them higher because they take more time and energy. However, I was down to two, so decided it was time. I'd like to try some different shapes.
>244 jjmcgaffey: Still waiting for pictures of your stuff, Jenn!
>245 humouress: Hi, Nina, and thanks.
>248 rosalita: It was a good one, Anne. Sorry you had to work during yours.
>249 ronincats: Thanks, Valerie.
>250 I haven't ever had one collapse, Julia, maybe because I make them fairly thick-bodied to hold in the heat.
Book #51 Visions by Kelley Armstrong (449 pp.)
Continuing this urban fantasy series recommended by Peggy (LizzieD). Armstrong knows how to tell a story, and this keeps you reading, but doesn't pull me in or create any emotional attachments to the characters.
And it's been a week for more acquisitions:
Won from Early Reviewers: The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond
PaperBackSwap: a pristine hardback edition of Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
From Lucy: A Moment of Silence by Anna Dean
ETA Come join me on the new thread!
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