Tag Archives: Derek Miller

[TSS] Bookish bliss: a #flashreadathon weekend

Back on Thursday, Andi put out the word about the Flash Readathon, a no pressure, read and have fun kind of readathon. I loved the idea, and ended up spending quite a bit of time with an assortment of books this weekend as a result.

I’ve never participated as a reader in any of the formal readathons, although I’ve been a cheerleader several times – in the past, each of the big readathons fell on weekends during which I was unable to commit huge chunks of time for reading. So participating in this Flash Readathon gave me a little taste of what it feels like – and now that I’ve had that little taste, I think the next readathon that comes around, I’d like to play!

Here are the books I got to over the weekend. These aren’t start-to-finish books, which is what I guess I’d be aiming for with one of the formal readathons. These are just the books I dipped into (and in one case, finished) over the weekend:

pet sematary

First up was Pet Sematary, for the #gangstercats readalong. I read about five more chapters, bringing me to chapter 30 – I want to take this slowly so I can play along with everyone throughout the rest of March.

The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better.

The Woods

Up next, I read more issues of The Woods by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas. I’m really liking this series, which I’m reading on Scribd*, and I’m hoping more issues will be coming to Scribd soon.

On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. Where are they? Why are they there? The answers will prove stranger than anyone could possibly imagine.

Norwegian by night

I then hopped back into Norwegian by Night, and when I went to bed last night, I had another forty pages to go on it. I finished up those forty pages late this afternoon when I’d had a chance to get back into the Flash Readathon. This is a good book, with an octogenarian protagonist who is real, not stereotyped as depictions of the old tend to be in fiction.

Sheldon Horowitz—widowed, impatient, impertinent—has grudgingly agreed to leave New York and move in with his granddaughter, Rhea, and her new husband, Lars, in Norway—a country of blue and ice with one thousand Jews, not one of them a former Marine sniper in the Korean War turned watch repairman. Not until now, anyway.

Home alone one morning, Sheldon witnesses a dispute between the woman who lives upstairs and an aggressive stranger. When events turn dire, Sheldon seizes and shields the neighbor’s young son from the violence, and they flee the scene. As Sheldon and the boy look for a safe haven in an alien world, past and present weave together, forcing them ever forward to a wrenching moment of truth.

Now You See Me

I’m finishing the readathon off with the first in S.J. Bolton’s Lacey Flint series, Now You See Me, which I’d listened to a while back. I’d like to read the rest of the books in the series, so I’ve decided to give this a reread. Now that I’ve read a few chapters, I think I do remember some of the ending, but I’m not sure, and the book is definitely engaging enough that I won’t be bored during this reread.

Late one night after interviewing a witness, Lacey Flint, a young detective constable, stumbles onto a woman brutally stabbed just moments before. Within twenty-four hours, a reporter receives an anonymous letter pointing out alarming similarities between the murder and Jack the Ripper’s first murder—a letter that calls out Lacey by name. If it’s real, and they have a killer bent on re-creating London’s bloody past, history shows they have just five days until the next attempt.

No one believes the connections are anything more than a sadistic killer’s game, not even Lacey, whom the killer seems to be taunting specifically. But as the case unfolds, the details start reminding Lacey of a part of her own past she’d rather keep hidden. And the only way to do that is to catch the killer herself.

So that was my Flash Readathon weekend. How about you? Did you get any #flashreadathon reading done this weekend?

*the Scribd link is my referral link. If you sign up for a trial membership through that link, you get two months free trial rather than just one, and I get a free month too!

Snapshot: February 17, 2015

Time:

Photo of the week: It’s been so cold this past week, I haven’t even thought to bring out my phone and snap pictures when I’ve been out and about. So here’s another Creeper photo (that cat is just so photogenic). Hobbes is the cuddly – and naughty – one, but not nearly as photogenic.

Creeper

 

Feeling: A little tired, even though it’s still quite early in the evening for me. I’ve been getting up a bit earlier the past few days (working my way toward a regular morning ritual – yay!)

Reading: I finished Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton. This was her debut novel, and I really enjoyed it. It was so good, I went and put a hold on her second book before I finished this one.

Sacrifice

I’m also reading Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, Derek Miller’s Norwegian by Night and Helene Hanff’s 84, Charing Cross Road.

It’s been SO nice to have ample time for reading. I started Sacrifice last night and had the luxury of reading right through to the end when I picked it up again this afternoon (it’s that kind of a page-turner book).

Listening: I’m listening to Victims, by Jonathan Kellerman. I thought I’d read all of Kellerman’s books (except the latest, which I’m on hold for at the library) but then I came across someone’s review of Victims and I thought, hey, I don’t remember that plot – I must have missed this one.

But, as it turns out, I had read this one before. I began recognizing bits and pieces of the story once I started listening to it. I still don’t remember the whodunnit part, though, so I decided to just keep on listening. The Alex Delaware novels are kind of like comfort listens for me – I’ve done most of them in audio now.

Writing: I got an idea for a short story the other day, and I’m nearly finished the first draft. I’ve been playing around with titles. I think I might call it “The Devil’s Consort” or “When The Exorcist Arrives”.

Working: Nice and light on deadlines this week! I have an article to write and an index on regulatory law due later this week, and that’s all. I like my work when I’m not going frantic with deadlines.

Creating: Haven’t gotten back to creating a little something every day, but I’ve been thinking about it. Thinking about it counts a little … I think!

Looking forward to: More resting and reading. It’s so nice to know I have downtime between deadlines!

Making some reading decisions

It’s odd. When I was busy with deadlines, I always knew what I wanted to read, even though I didn’t have that much time to read.

But now that things are less busy and I feel like I can actually breathe again – I’m having trouble picking what I want to read next! And as a result, I haven’t actually read much of anything over the past few days, even though I now have the time.

Argh.

I knew this was going to happen, too. Last week, I posted a reading plan for this week. This is what I wrote:

So to ward off my tendency to fritter all my down time away doing nothing (sadly, I must include playing games on my iPhone and my tablet as “doing nothing” – it’s actually one of my favourite ways of doing nothing), I’ve decided to come up with a reading plan for next week.

See how well I know myself? The reading plan isn’t working, though, because I went ahead and finished Blood Harvest and I’m not in the mood right now for any of the other books. Not even The Dream Thieves, which I’m having trouble getting into (I think I need to check out the Raven Boys recap link Jill gave me). And the other books in my reading plan are either graphic novels or nonfiction, and I just don’t feel like reading either type of book right now.

But I do know if I don’t put a stop to this post-deadline dithering, I really will end up doing nothing for way too long.

So it’s time to make some reading decisions. I’ve been asking myself what I feel like reading, and the only answer I’m getting is “a really good story”. I can be so unhelpful at times.

I’ve more or less narrowed it down to these three choices:

Norwegian by Night

norwegian-by-night4_thumb

I discovered Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller when Bernadette blogged about it. This was the part of her post that particularly captivated me:

I can foresee that the novel’s hero, 82 year old Sheldon “Donny” Horowitz, will become one of my all time favourites. He is my idea of a perfect character. That doesn’t mean he’s a perfect person but that’s kind of the point. He’s just an ordinary bloke dealing with the hand life has dealt him with the kind of active practicality that I associate with men of his generation.

For a while now, I’ve been questioning why there’s such a lack of older characters in the fiction I’m reading, older characters who are real, who get to play one of the starring roles, who are not just a stereotypical depiction thrown into the mix to add some diversity. I put a hold on this book right after I read Bernadette’s post, and I now have it in my library stack.

Good Omens

good omens

I’ve been wanting to read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett for quite a while now. Also, one of my 2015 goals is to reduce my TBR by reading ten books, and Good Omens is on that list of ten books.

Not to mention, it promises to be a really funny read. And I may be in the mood for really funny.

Or not.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters

dreams of gods and monsters

I know. It was just a couple of weeks ago that I raved about the first two books in the series. And now I have Dreams of Gods & Monsters in my hot little hands … and I’m not sure if it’s what I want to read right now. I know it will be good, and the beauty of it is, the previous books are still really, really fresh in my mind.

But they were intense, especially Days of Blood & Starlight, and I’m not sure I’m ready for intense right now.

So this is what I’ve decided …

Tomorrow. I’ll pick one of these books tomorrow. For tonight, I think I’m going to head to bed early, maybe get a good start on my quest to become a morning person.  I had the entire day off today, and it’s really tired me out!

Want to help me out? Which of these three books would you pick?