ceitfianna: (lost in a library)
Today I'm having a bit of a low feeling even though there are good things opening up for me. Just a bout of self doubt. The storm blew a lot of branches around here and some of the roads were flooded but my family and our friends were all safe. Since we didn't get much snow in Delaware, most of it has already melted.

I really want to do a picture post of the amazing Star Wars' costume exhibit but I can't figure out which is the best platform for it, DW or Tumblr. Either way, I'll crosspost it, but I'd love any suggestions from people who do more picture posts. I don't do them very often. Thank you.

In terms of my reading, there’s been a lot of great stuff that I want to recommend.

What I finished reading

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. At first I wasn't certain I wanted to read this book as I didn't know a lot about it but then I read an amazing review on The Book Smugglers. Illuminae is in the form of a dossier of emails, reports, IM messages and inside an AI's mind. The heart of the story is two teenagers losing their home and becoming refugees and getting caught up into a much larger story about corporations fighting, ships and disease. I don't want to give a lot of details of the plot, because the way it unfolds is cleverly done. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys science fiction, horror and YA, because the heart of it is how messy and true Kady and Ezra feel.

Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs by Ursula Vernon. I picked this up because it suddenly appeared on Overdrive and I've been curious about it and needed something lighter after giving up on the Rogues anthology, too many stories with women in peril. The illustrations were hilarious as was the way that normal life and fantasy melded together.

What I'm currently reading

Tradition!: The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World's Most Beloved Musical by Barbara Isenberg. I bought this book at the theater after seeing Fiddler on the Roof and I highly recommend it. The writer has a great sense of what are the interesting stories and either interviewed or had access to interviews of so many people that were involved. Reading it reminds me of when I took playwriting classes and behind the scenes of shows I've done but even more so. I just finished the first part of the book which dealt with the musical and I'm into the second on the film.

What I'm reading next

I have a couple of options but I don't know which one I'll pick. I've been in the mood for some romance and have lots of those. I also picked up at the library; Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection and Beastly Bones the second Jackaby book. Oh and I have a hold that's about to run out on Archivist Wasp. Though knowing me, I might end up going with something else entirely.
ceitfianna: (Dean time rambles on)
I'm trying to get back to doing this more regularly as I find its a wonderful way to talk about books and be thoughtful about my choices.

What I finished reading

Empty Net by Toni Aleo, which I didn't finish. Its a contemporary hockey romance novel and I ate up the first three hundred or so pages but then it seemed to lag. It felt like the conflicts were being added or dragged out and since it was part of a series, they all didn't have to wrap up. The writing was good, which was why I was disappointed, I feel like with better editing and pacing, this book would really work for me.

I reread Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and found it an intriguing read in the balance between investigative journalism and memoir. And I reread some favorite Ngaio Marsh mysteries that are set around the holidays: Death of a Fool and Tied up in Tinsel.

What I'm currently reading

Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and Gadgets edited by Paige Daniels and Mary Fan. I'm dipping in and out of this anthology which I picked up because I heard Mary Fan speak at Chessiecon and was impressed by her. So far the stories are good but nothing amazing.

Tangled Vines by Frances Dinkelspiel and I'm enjoying it a lot. There's history, a conman and California all written in a wonderful style.

The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen, I picked this up when it was on sale and so far I'm liking it. The style makes me think of Miss Fisher and a little of the Montmaray books.

What I'm reading next

I'm hoping to finally read Bone Gap which I've been taking in and out of the library as I was distracted by other books. Other than that, it depends a lot on what I'm in the mood for.
ceitfianna: (Dean time rambles on)
Life has taken a turn up for me which is keeping me busy in good ways. I've also been reading a lot of good books.

What I finished reading

Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis ended up being an interesting and depressing read. It was wonderful in terms of what she accomplished and the gorgeous art but then history and male scientists ended up discrediting her. Thankfully in the last two decades, she's been brought back to where she should be. If you're interested in lady scientists and Europe in the late 1600s, I highly recommend this book.

What I'm currently reading

The Cestus Deception by Steven Barnes keeps getting better. It really is everything I love about The Clone Wars's series; complicated politics, thoughts on the Force, the price of war and the Clones. I can imagine it fitting into the television show.

Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancy Marie Brown which is about the Lewis Viking chess set and the world they were made in.

Irish Cream by Andrew M. Greeley, this series is one of my potato chip series and I had no idea I'd missed one until I saw this at the library book sale. They're romance with mystery and some magical elements and make me happy. I just adore the couple and the way the author writes.

I think I've given up on No Dark Place the medieval mystery I was reading, I don't feel a great pull to read the last hundred or so pages.

What I'm reading next

My hold on Sorcerer to the Crown has come in at the library, so that will be next up. Also I have an ebook of Kenobi which I'll probably start soon and Watch the Sky, a middle grade novel about a kid growing up in an odd family environment. I started reading it when it came into the library but it hadn't been cataloged so put it down and now took it out again.
ceitfianna: (Dean time rambles on)
Life has been full with fact-checking and interviews because the job search is always present. Today I had a tough interview that I got through and feel like I presented myself as I wanted to in. I'm also reading a lot of good books and have finished a mix of great and okay books. Also last week, I saw Hal Holbrook's Mark Twain Tonight and the choices he made of using Twain's words to speak about racism was amazing and I want to write in more depth about it. It struck me with the power of theater.

What I finished reading

Uprooted by Naomi Novik, this book hit me in a lot of places I knew. The worry of not fitting, stories, not being who you're supposed to be and how to be yourself when everyone wants you to be someone else. This is one of the best books that has a fairy tale at its heart but is its own thing that I've read in a long time.

I Kissed An Earl by Julie Anne Long, part of her Pennyroyal Green series. I enjoyed reading this book that plays with the tropes of a bored debutante and a captain with a hard past but it didn't hit me as hard as I expected. An enjoyable romance, well written, great characters and a wonderful understanding of certain tropes but not my favorite of her books.

What I'm currently reading

the Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor which is fantastic. The writing is beautiful and the setting is fascinating. I've been meaning to read her and I'm hooked.

The Attenbury Emeralds by Jill Paton Walsh, this is her third Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane mystery. When they first came out, I read her books and was impressed with how she wrote Peter and Harriet. This one is definitely hooking me.

Welcome to Paradise by Rosalind James. This is an ebook I picked up because the author's from New Zealand and I was curious. Its caught me which I never expected. The setting is a reality tv show that's a cross between Survivor and those shows where people have to live like its another era. I also find the use of a reality tv show clever as she can play with tropes and intense situations and it works in a way that it doesn't always in contemporary romance.The writing and characters feel real so I think I'll be reading more of Rosalind James.

What I'm reading next
Probably Brothers in Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold which is technically a reread as I have some ideas about writing fic and RP for Ivan Vorpatril. Before I do that I have to remind myself of the various versions of him and this will turn into an entire canon reread.
ceitfianna: (paper butterfly)
At the middle of this week, I'm feeling pretty good. I have an interview for the beginning of July and I'm finding some other job openings. Also there was a gorgeous thunderstorm last night which I was able to get pictures of, the clouds were unreal.

What I've finished reading:
For Your Arms Only by Caroline Linden which is my favorite type of historical romance. The characters feel real, there's a discussion of the Napoleonic War and no one's perfect. This book cemented for me that a well written wounded hero realizing that they do bring good into the world and the partner who helps them heal and grow is one of my romance catnips.

The Murder at Hazelmoor by Agatha Christie, which was one I hadn't read before and a mixed bag. It had a wonderful young woman sleuth who was solving the mystery to save her fiancee and she worked with an interesting journalist. The mystery was complicated but the characters were intriguing, the end kind of annoyed me as the romance story went a weird way. I hate the trope of the strong woman staying with a weak man because she'll keep him out of trouble.

What I'm currently reading:
Huck Finn's America: Mark Twain and the Era That Shaped His Masterpiece by Andrew Levy. I picked this book up at the library since I'm always interested in Huck Finn and was in a nonfiction mood. So far I'm liking how the author is pulling in a lot of aspect of the time that Twain grew up in and wrote in about how that changed his writing.

What I'm going to read next:
I think The Baron Next Door by Erin Knightley as I picked it up as a hold. Other than that I don't know, picking the next book is always tricky and depends on my mood.
ceitfianna: (Dean time rambles on)
I'm having a quiet week since due to when the school break is, I won't be substituting at all. That's given me time to get to work on a number of things I've been meaning to do and have the time to finish up some reading.

Today I signed up to write a review for Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. I love looking through the RITA nominees and then seeing what I can find at the library. In an annoying twist, the books that really caught my eye weren't at the library but they just add to my to-read list.

I also signed up to do some volunteering with one of the library associations with, I hope that helps me in terms of reaching out. Its something I've been wanting to do more of, but I needed to get a little braver. I'm waiting on hearing from a school, so the busier I am the better. It feels like there are doors opening and I only need one place to say, yes, we want you. I did my taxes today which were simple, that was nice and now they're done and I've sorted a lot of books to go the library book sale. My other main goal for myself this week other than the sorting and taxes is to finish a fic and post it.

That reminds me, one of the ARCs, I picked up in Chicago was for To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix. I know a lot of people on my circle/flist read him and I'd love to pass it on to someone who will enjoy it. Comment here and we can figure out how to get it to you.

Now for the books that have been happily filling my time.
What I finished reading

Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh, this book is part of her Survivor's Club series which focuses on a group who were all wounded in various ways during the Napoleonic Wars. They're brought together by a noble who lost his son and opened his estate to all of them to heal. The series starts six or so years after they all returned and now they're mainly healed and meet annually at the same estate. I adore this series and Balogh's writing, because all the characters have depth, she shows different sides of the Regency world and all of the endings feel earned. This one is particularly interesting as the hero suffered major head trauma so he has missing parts of his memories and doesn't always feel in control. I liked how she dealt with his challenges and the romance was complex and fascinating.

I also finished my reread of Passage by Connie Willis and my parents are currently reading it. I always enjoy her writing because of how they remind me of my favorite mysteries, strong characters, a plot that pulls me in with the addition of something more.

What I'm reading now

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman and this is an amazing book. I love how the story and the world has grown bigger since Seraphina and the challenges that face her.

The Seneca Falls Inheritance by Miriam Grace Monfredo which is interesting. Its a mystery about a librarian set not long before the Seneca Falls Confederation and the main character is a friend of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The writing is good, the author brings in many aspects of what it means for the main character to be a single woman and how she fits into the town. So far the mystery isn't that gripping which is why I keep putting it down and picking it back up again.

What I'm reading next

Yesterday at the library, I picked up Night Watch as its been a while since I reread it. Other than that, I'm not sure, my to-read pile is always daunting and challenging.
ceitfianna: (lost in a library)
I'm going to try and do this every week as I love the idea of it, all links go to Goodreads.

What I just finished reading.

The Just City by Jo Walton, this is a fantastic book about what if Athena decided to try and create Plato's Republic. Since time is no consideration for her, she pulls in people from all over time to found and run it. Apollo decides to experience the city as a young boy and I loved this book. The thoughtful discussion of how would this philosophy work in reality, the various characters' points of view and how the gods are presented. I'm going to be recommending and thinking about this book for a while. It made the classicist part of me happy along with the educator, Jo Walton is so creative.

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon, I don't know why the Goodreads is coming up in French for the description. This is the first book of a mystery series set in Venice and I've been wanting to read it for ages. The ebook was on sale so I snagged it and enjoyed it a lot. The style of writing and mystery reminded me of Lindsay Davis or Georges Simeon. The main character and his family are great and Venice and Italy are just as much characters.

What I'm currently reading

The Seneca Falls Inheritance by Miriam Grace Monfredo which is the first book in a mystery series about a woman named Glynis Tryon who is a librarian in Seneca Falls. She's a woman making her way in the 1840s and I love all the social notes and the characters. I picked this up at the library paperback book sale yesterday and I'm liking it. Historical mysteries are a genre I enjoy but can be tricky to get right, this one has an unusual setting and is well written.

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman and I'm so happy I was able to get my hold on it so quickly. I adored Seraphina and I love how everything is moving forward and Hartman's style.

Passage by Connie Willis, this is technically a reread because last week I read Being Mortal, a difficult and well written book about end of life options. I read it because my parents picked up and reading about the atmosphere around death had me thinking about Passage and I'm enjoying my reread. I love Connie Willis' style of writing.

What I'm reading next.

*eyes my to read pile* I'm not completely sure, possibly The Wrath and the Dawn, a retelling of the Shahrzad story and an ARC I picked up at ALA Midwinter. Or I might read Jackaby, a YA book that I won from The Book Smugglers. I've also had my eye on The Accidental Highwayman as I've seen good reviews and it looks fun. Then I have all the various romances I have and my bag of ARCs from Midwinter and whatever I might spot at the library.

Rainy week

Oct. 13th, 2013 02:11 pm
ceitfianna: (stormy ship)
This week the weather has turned, its been rainy, cloudy and windy every day. Its nice to have it feeling like Fall again but I think the grey has been dampening my mood slightly, which I don't like. Though I have been getting things done as I'm working on another job application and I need to do far more of them. They just never get easier, but other stuff is happening. My car is back and registered in Delaware and slowly, slowly all my ties to the bureaucratic stuff in Michigan is going away.

I signed up for Yuletide with many requests and offers because I kept noticing options that I hadn't seen before. I may regret this but I love the challenge of writing something I haven't written before, it makes me happy.

If you follow me on Goodreads, sorry about all the reviews this week, I'd fallen farther behind than I meant to but it did prompt a librarian post. Too Many Books to Review, I have another post I plan to write as well about how I keep getting into conversations with my parents friends about how can you read fantasy?

Let's see, the other good news is that the Age Spell plot has started in Milliways and I'm having a huge amount of fun with ten year old Charles.
ceitfianna: (Jane thoughts consume me)
Today has been odd and I keep reminding myself that yes, I did get things done. I had the first moving estimate from a big moving company which was honestly terrifying in how expensive it was. Hopefully the one for the slightly smaller national company will be less. Then lost a good part of my afternoon by creating a Goodreads' account, most of you probably got emails from me, but if not, please friend me. I like how easy it is to add books and I think LibraryThing will be for doing what I've read, crosspost reviews and Goodreads for my list of to read, which is daunting. There are so many books I want to read out there.

I also emailed my mentor in Delaware who's happy to have me back, put my work shifts up on the Tradeboard and sent another cover letter out. Then I ended up waiting for a storm that didn't happen and leaving my window partly open just made my apartment sticky, so back to the fan. Tomorrow afternoon I'm heading to [personal profile] dodger_sister's and I think I'm going to make the cornbread muffins in the morning. That way they're all nice and hot instead of sitting over night.

Now to make my writing brain come back as my story for the Narniaexchange is going far too slowly. I know what I want to be the heart of it but the words aren't coming. I also really want to write a good and meaty post about heroines because reading Sappho's Leap that didn't get that Sappho was amazing for herself and her poetry, and then seeing Snow White and the Huntsman and Brave, which did get it gives me ideas. I'm not sure if its a post that will end up here or on my librarian blog, it depends on how happy I am with it.

I highly recommend Snow White and the Huntsman, which for me was like, yes, this is how I imagine the world of Robin Hood, medieval with magic and harsh and just perfect. It actually got me playing Will more and he always makes me happy. I need to write up my HP!AU breaking of him as well since I have a few ideas with it. Brave was wonderful as well though I think I'd actually go see Snow White and the Huntsman for a second time before it. Though I'd see Brave again with my family, it depends on the audience and my mood, one made me all thinky, the other made me cry and go, yes, family.

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