Tag Archives: what I’m reading

Snapshot: March 3, 2015

Photo of the week: It was tough getting out of bed this morning, as I had this little guy snuggled up under my arm. He’s such a naughty cat when he’s awake, but when he’s sleeping, he’s an angel.

Hobbes snuggling

Time: 4:57

Feeling: Motivated! It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way. It’s a nice feeling!

Reading:  I’m about a quarter of the way through Pet Sematary for the readalong, but I’m trying not to read it at night, so I’ve also been dipping into some lighter fare as well. Last night I made myself put Pet Sematary down, and read An Age of License by Lucy Knisley.

an age of license

I enjoyed it – it was as good a read as Relish, and better than French Milk, which I’ve liked the least out of her books so far.

I’m also back into Norwegian by Night, by Derek Miller, which I’d put down last month after three chapters and never got around to picking up again until now. This was through no fault of the book itself, which has been very good so far – and in fact, it’s been in the back of my mind all this time. But I’m reading it in ebook format, and I find I tend to do this with ebooks (and audiobooks, too) – put them down and take a while to get back to them. Often it’s because a number of print books have come into my life via the library, and print books are just so, well, physical, you know? And easier to pick up because they’re lying on your sofa or your table, with their bright enticing covers.

Listening: I’m listening to In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, the sequel to A Study in Sherlock, which I’d enjoyed very much. (For those of you reading Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, “The Case of Death and Honey” previously appeared in A Study in Sherlock.)

in the company of sherlock holmes

So far I’ve listened to “The Crooked Man”, by Michael Connelly (this one is a Harry Bosch story), “The Curious Affair of the Italian Art Dealer” by Sara Paretsky and “The Memoirs of Silver Blaze” by Michael Sims (in which the narrator is a horse).

Writing: I printed out the first draft of my children’s novel, Waverley and will be sitting down to work on revisions tonight. I’ve also started getting feedback and comments from my writing pals who’ve agreed to be alpha readers of the short story I wrote last week, so with any luck, I’ll have the final draft ready next week.

The writing is why I’ve been feeling so motivated. I promised myself I’d start submitting my work this year, but of course, you can’t submit when you don’t have anything written to submit, right? Going into this year I had a flash story that I think is very good and a couple of short stories I don’t think are very good, so really nothing much to submit. I was very happy I managed to write another short story last week which might actually be good enough to send out.

Working: I have a couple of client blog post deadlines at the end of this week, but nothing else so far. And wouldn’t you know it – after complaining for all of January and most of February about how I was too busy and how I hated having all those deadlines, now I’m doing the “freelance reversal” and getting a little worried because I don’t have more deadlines! (I simply can’t win … )

Looking forward to: Finally buckling down and starting on the revisions to Waverley. I’ve never gotten to this stage before (because prior to now I’ve finished so few things), and I find I’m both looking forward to the revisions and feeling kind of nervous about doing them, too.

The rest of today: I’ve got to run and take Dylan to dance. When I get back I’ve got some chapters I want to finish critiquing for my writing buddy and the revisions to get to. But I’m hoping to slip in a few chapters of Norwegian by Night before I go to bed, too!

A Reading Ramble: Inferno, A Natural History of Dragons, Smoke and Mirrors and More

I’m pleased to report that I kept up my reading even during the crazy busy month of June – so it’s time for another rambly post (my spellchecker tells me rambly is not a word but I like the sound of it anyway) about what I’ve been reading.

One book I tackled in June was Dan Brown’s Inferno. So here’s the quick and dirty: it didn’t work for me. I was very excited when I picked it up from the library, and cracked it open as soon as I got home. I got about halfway through the novel and realized I felt the same way about it as I did Angels & Demons: the story was exciting, and I was learning some interesting things, but I didn’t really care one way or another how the novel ended.

With Angels & Demons, I quit reading at about the 80% mark. I remember thinking to myself, all this excitement is rather tiring, and anyway, I know Langdon will end up fine, right? I felt the same with Inferno, except I got to that point a little earlier than I did with Angels & Demons. Since I knew lots of people were eagerly awaiting Inferno, I returned it to the library two days later (I waited a day to see if maybe I was just in a tired mood, and really did want to finish it after all – it turned out I really didn’t).

A Natural History of DragonsI absolutely adored this book

Happily, though, I also got my hands on a copy of A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan. I LOVED this book – it’s one of my favourite reads of the year. It’s the kind of book I just want to press on everyone I know: “Read it, read it, oh, you simply must read it!”

And really, you simply must. I mean, it’s got dragons! An independent, feisty female main character! And did I mention, dragons?

For all you Flavia de Luce fans out there, Isabella (Lady Trent) is like Flavia all grown up – if, that is, Flavia had lived in a Victorian-type era in a world where dragons exist.

Last month I also managed to get tickets to see Neil Gaiman when he comes to Toronto in August on his book tour for The Ocean at the End of the Lane, so I decided I’d catch up on my Gaiman (I’ve only read two of his books so far, Neverwhere and The Graveyard Book, both of which I loved). To get myself started, I skimmed through Prince of Stories (I had to skim, since the book contains synopses of all Gaiman’s works published at the time Prince of Stories was released, and I didn’t want to read anything spoiler-ish, but even skimming, it was quite lovely to read about everything Gaiman has done).

Smoke and MirrorsSuch a lovely short story collection!

And now I’m halfway through Smoke and Mirrors, and really enjoying it. When I was in my early 20s, I was an avid short story reader, and Smoke and Mirrors reminds me how satisfying a well-crafted short story can be. And I have to say, I am SO in awe of the way Gaiman handles narrative poetry!

I’m also halfway through Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, but it looks like I won’t be able to finish it for a while. I have it on ebook loan from the library, and there are several people on the wait list after me, which means I won’t be able to renew it. Which reminds me – I should go and add myself to the holds list again! It’s my first taste of Hill’s work, and I’m liking it very much so far.

Another June reading highlight: I discovered Peter Lovesey’s Chief Superintendent Peter Diamond – I read Cop to Corpse, the twelfth book in the series (which didn’t hurt my reading of it in the slightest, I might add). Lovesey’s Diamond is great when you’re in the mood for a British police procedural, with a touch of humour that makes it even more enjoyable.

In audio, I listened to Lee Child’s Running Blind and Without Fail, both great books for when you’re in a Jack Reacher mood. I also did three Nero Wolfe short story collections (all rereads) in audio: Curtains for Three, And Four to Go (which starts with a hilarious story in which Wolfe plays Santa) and Death Times Three. Interestingly, one of the shorts in Death Times Three is also in And Four to Go, in slightly shorter format and with the characters slightly changed.

So that’s been my reading month in June, more or less (I might have missed one or two books, and I’m sure if I did, it will of course come to me the moment I hit publish …). It was a pretty good month in terms of reading, and now that I’ve written this post, I’m a little surprised at how many books I did read during such a crazy busy month!