Sunday, January 20, 2019

Fortnightly Update #47: Long Time, No Update!

I've been planning on publishing this update for so long, I've had to change most of the new/read/acquired books several times to keep it recent. I think most of my trepidation about getting back into the book blogging game comes from returning to my habit of preferring books to normal life activities like socializing, etc. I'm hopeful that I'm better at balancing things now that I have some of my health issues under control (I can still walk cane-less-ly), and since I'm working on my post traumatic stress disorder with a highly qualified therapist who encouraged me to re-engage with my book blogging habits.

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

Tidal Wave: From Leyte Gulf to Tokyo Bay by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
Late one night, I was up ordering books for Christmas presents (as one does), and I saw an ad for this book. Two weeks later, when my Christmas books arrived in the mail, this also arrived. At the time, I thought I must've ordered it on accident, but after checking my bank records, I am convinced I must've clicked on the ad for a giveaway and won it instead. This is a nonfiction account of naval battles at the end of WWII, based on first person experiences.

the-invisible-pile Additions:

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
How could I not buy a book endorsed by Patrick Rothfuss and Rachelle at Fortified by Books, especially when it happened to be on sale? In the same manner, I cannot resist asking myself rhetorical questions...

The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became the Greatest Deal Maker in Capitalist History by William C. Rempel
I guess I must've decided I needed all the nonfiction, because I also bought this book on Kindle and I don't recall much of what convinced me to buy it other than a greed for more books.

Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction by Elizabeth Vargas
If you're an American, you'll likely recognize Elizabeth Vargas from TV as that classy looking lady who always seems so composed as she reads her lines. With that impression in mind, it was a little bit of a shock to learn she deals with anxiety and battled with alcoholism. I'm curious to learn more about her in this memoir.

Deep Dark Blue: A Memoir of Survival by Polo Tate
This has been touted as a YA memoir, and while it's true that the events that transpired in this book happened to a young adult, I'm not sure it has appeal for the typical YA audience, as I haven't read it myself. This is a memoir about a young woman facing abuse (sexual and other varieties) in the Air Force.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
As someone who watched both of my grandparents wane at the end of their lives, end of life care with regards to medicine has always interested me. As this book covers the topic and comes very highly rated, I'm inclined to read it.

Currently Reading:

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
This is about the American immigrant experience in the early 20th century, but also includes Hoffman's signature magical realism elements, in this case having a mermaid and a wolf man. 

Finished These Books:

I think I finished this last November or early December of last year (yes, I've been in a bit of a slump) and it is a great, adult romantic fantasy, but doesn't come as highly recommended by me as her other books. I think my favorite parts of this book were the magic system and world, while the romance just wasn't my particular cup of tea.

In My Life:

I bought a new computer tower to replace one that was roughly 10 years old. To be frank, it's only a little bit faster while browsing the internet, but I did finally get around to playing the Sims 4 since my computer can now handle it. I miss the limitless options of Sims 3, but Sims 4 runs very smoothly and I've only had it crash once. I was a bit worried that my older tower might just up and quit on me someday, so buying a new one at a sale price definitely put my mind at ease.

Happy 2019!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I'm Joining the #SciFiSummer 2018 Readalong!

I've been absent (again) for a while, but I am popping back in to announce my goals for the annual Sci-Fi Summer reading challenge hosted by Rachelle of Fortified by Books. Below are the levels and rules:

Red Shirt – 1 to 5 books
Viper Pilot – 6 to 10 books
Jedi – 11 to 15 books
Time Lord – 16 or more books

"Any book of at least 100 pages that is classified as Science Fiction, including any Sci-Fi subgenres, qualifies for this challenge.  That means audiobooks, physical books, ebooks, library books, free books, other borrowed books, anthologies, and graphic novels are all acceptable options.  You may also count any Sci-Fi book that counts towards another reading challenge.  On June 21st, I’ll post the link up for your reviews, and it will stay open until September 28th."

For this year's challenge, I'm shooting for Viper Pilot (which I think I generally always shoot for, but given my reading rut this year, may in fact be a challenge). Here are some of the sci-fi reads that may be among my picks for this year's challenge:

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
I started reading this earlier this year but got into a bit of a funk and couldn't finish (2018 must be my funky year). The plot is basically a man's dreams becoming reality and the consequences of that.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers
I picked this one up this year because the buzz is huge and the price was right. I hope I love it as much as everyone else seems to!

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann Leckie
This is another buzz book I've never gotten around to from the sci-fi genre, and I'm hoping it proves as amazing as its cover looks.

Which books are you looking forward to reading this summer?

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Fortnightly Update #46: Flowers, Flowers Everywhere (But No Brandon To Be Found)

Since May 16th, I have been preoccupied with helping my mom around the house. She had a successful knee replacement surgery and only spent one night in the hospital. I am so grateful I didn't have to use my power of attorney privileges to decide anything serious and it seems she is well on her way to having full mobility again. I've also retained the full use of my legs, so I'm a relatively happy camper these days.

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher
Expected publication: October 2nd, 2018
This is from a giveaway I came across in the Shelf Awareness Pro newsletter- and my second historical fiction involving one of the Kennedys this year. There must be some nostalgia for political dynasties going around because I really don't remember this much historical fiction being penned about the Kennedys in previous years (or maybe these are just better promoted?). This book revolves around Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy's life in London in 1938.

the-invisible-pile Additions:

As I am a fan of medical memoirs, I figured it was prudent to add this to my list of them. The extra layer here is that the patient was a doctor first and noticed the difference in perspective (as far as matters of life and death) from doctor to patient.

Sabriel (Abhorsen #1) by Garth Nix
I recall this book being all the rage when I was in middle school, so I may as well do some remedial reading now and see if I would've liked it.

Many bloggers are fans of this book, so I may as well catch up with the fad on the interwebs too. Also, sci-fi is usually a win with me as long as there's some form of alternative thinking.

This one has been on my wishlist on Amazon forever and it is finally on sale (at least, the US Kindle version is). I can't recall who recommended this one to me, but I am a fan of the author's tweets, so that's something.

Currently Reading:

The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher
I am on the first few pages so no "true" impression yet, other than that I love the cover.

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
Since this is a short sci-fi book, I decided to start this one too. So far I am enjoying it.

Finished These Books:

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable
Expected Publication: May 29th, 2018
With some luck, I may have a review up for this one on the 29th. Although I thought I would enjoy it more, it turned out to be less of a political historical fiction and more of a celebrity historical fiction that erred on the side of romance. It is still a solid read, but manage your expectations if you think it will be more about JFK and less about Alicia Corning Clark.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Expected Publication: July 17th, 2018
Normally, I would never request a thriller, as they aren't my usual genre and they tend to disappoint me. However, Baby Teeth kept me on the edge of my seat and bordered on horror, so it was a win. If you're a thriller fan, consider requesting it if you still can.

This was a historical romance that I picked up last year. Someone mentioned on Twitter that the hero had ADHD and I was intrigued by that, so I finished reading it. Although it was interesting and I liked it, I wouldn't consider it among my favorites. I did enjoy one of the secondary characters, Phoebe, more than the main heroine, so maybe that was my issue with it.

In My Life:

Flowers, flowers everywhere, and lots of pollen to boot.

Ah-choo, my garden and some of my minion army (see upper and lower right)
This year has been easier on the garden-front for me- although I did raise most of my annual flowers from seeds, many of the perennials we've planted require little to no care. The exception to that were the rosebushes (I believe we have 16 now) which I had to prune back and fertilize back in April. I guess I've become so accustomed to growing things and caring for them now that if I didn't have plant seedlings every year, I would need to find a more intensive hobby. Gardening is not for the faint of yard.

Which hobbies are you excited to partake in this summer? Are any of my reads on your TBR list?

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