Sunday, May 31, 2015

NQAC: Biweekly Update #11: Here Kitty, Kitty, and the Summer of Reading for Relaxation

Important News: I have a cat, if you haven't seen Saturday's post yet.

Mini Confession That's 'Not Quite' a Full One: I've hit a reading slump due to all the pressure I put on myself (perfectionist problems) to meet the goal of 111 books to read this year. Therefore, this summer, I'm taking it easy reading-wise. I now have a new cat, a garden to tend, an RV to refurbish, and I recently found out my mom has a health condition with symptoms that basically match some of my own symptoms (muscle pain, trouble doing physical activities). This didn't shock me, as weird diseases/syndromes run rampant through my DNA.

Reading is still one of my favorite activities, but I kept checking the dang Goodreads 'reading challenge' daily, watching the 'You are on schedule' change to 'You are X books behind schedule'. I basically hated looking at it do that, and was disappointed to see I haven't been reading as chunky of books as I did last year. I was basically choosing short books so I could keep up. That isn't relaxing. That's manufacturing. Reading isn't supposed to be a challenge.

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

The good news is I haven't bought anything other than The Hedge Knight graphic novels. I paid more for them than I'd usually spend on graphic novels (because I haven't found my genre of them, really), but because they were initially written by George R.R. Martin, I knew they wouldn't disappoint. I was right.


And I was lucky enough to get approved for the final two volumes of the Crown & Key series: Undying Legion and Conquering Dark!

Currently Reading:

Undying Legion (as shown above Crown & Key #2) by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
I'm really enjoying the series so far- it may be because of all the quirky characters. I also like the somewhat ghoulish/ghastly atmosphere juxtaposed by the different kinds of magic (alchemy, scribing).

Peony in Love by Lisa See
I bought this on my first Montana Book Roundup (basically binge-buying books from MT, because they're cheaper and have more selection than Idaho), and since Travel the World in Books map is mostly bare in China, I've been reading all the Lisa See books I can find.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
So I wanted to read a 'time travel' book for my S & S bingo card, and the only one I have on hand is The Eyre Affair, which is an homage to Jane Eyre, which is a classic I haven't read yet. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself more engaged in reading it than I ever was reading Wuthering Heights by Charlotte's sister Emily. I only reached the halfway point on Wuthering Heights, so hopefully I'll have better luck with Jane Eyre.

History of the Rain by Niall Williams
The part I'm stuck at now is very introspective. I'm not sure if this is going to be one of those books I like until the plot stalls. I'm pretty certain that with the average rating on Goodreads being high, it will pick up pretty soon.

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards #1) by Scott Lynch
Since Kritika at Snowflakes and Spider Silk is hosting a readalong of this book, I decided I'd join in. I've been meaning to reread it and see if I could actually finish it, as I read halfway through it and then couldn't go further (this seems to be a pattern...).

Put Aside for Now:

The Crystal Shard (Forgotten Realms) by R.A. Salvatore
I was unaware how similar some of this book's 'things' would be to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. There is a castle name that's basically an homage/copy of Minas Tirith. I even Googled 'Tirith' to make sure it wasn't a Greek root or a legend of some kind. And, no female characters that I read of yet, except for 'wenches' (used in a derogatory manner, like where are the sluts?). My eyes kind of bled when I read that. Maybe I'll come back to it later. Maybe.

Finished These Books:

The Lady and the Panda by Vicki Constantine Croke
Surprisingly, this has a lot of Chinese history in it, and takes place mostly in China, qualifying it for my Travel the World in Books Challenge. I have a feeling this will be an Out of Orbit Critique soon.

In the Blogosphere:

I've been paying more attention to furiously Googling every aspect of cat ownership I may or may not have forgotten about during the past couple years rather than keeping up with the book blogging world. I'll be catching up on blog reading sometime soon.

In My Life:

Is it summer already? It seems just yesterday it was pouring rain and fifty degrees Fahrenheit outside. Now all my windows are open, and I'm considering hauling the window air conditioning units to their respective places. I have a feeling that much of our house's cooling/heating issues for the upstairs have to do with the house's mansard roof, that I didn't realize was a mansard roof until one year into living in it. I transplanted my tomatoes, but they're rather sad looking in this hot weather after just being planted outside, so no pictures yet.

George the cat surprised my largest dog Torrie (who is too fascinated by him- follows him everywhere) by rubbing up against her nose twice in the past few days. Torrie is also the one who antagonizes him by acting like he's here for her entertainment and trying to play with him like he's a dog, so most cats would be giving her a swat on the nose by now. Since he's about a year old, I guess he has enough energy to be tolerant of her lapses in manners, and also he may be more tolerant of my barbarian dogs because this is the third home he's been adopted out to. Either way, he has no behavior issues now that he's in a house where he's the only cat.

I've also constructed a cardboard box playground (tunnel, tiny house) for George to sneak around in, but he also is liking his new convertible bed/den I bought him today. As you may notice, he's only a tad bit spoiled.

What's your reading plans for the summer? 


  1. I read The Eyre Affair while having no idea about the plot of Jane Eyre. I think it added to the suspense.

    1. I know the basic plot already, as my mom has an old movie obsession. I decided I may as well read the book since I know the movies, and then it should be easier to spot the hints of it in the Eyre Affair. I also was looking for a historical classic, since the Scarlet Letter didn't work for me.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Heather!
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. Yay for new kitty <3 I'm an obsessed cat lady so new pet cats always warm my heart!

    I was basically choosing short books so I could keep up. That isn't relaxing. That's manufacturing. Reading isn't supposed to be a challenge.
    I can't agree more with this! I found myself doing this over the past 2 years so now I'm just taking reading slowly. I set my goodreads challenge at the beginning of the year but I haven't looked back on it since then!

    It's nice to take a break from the blogosphere sometimes. Gives you time to come back with a fresh attitude :)

    1. I was a bit of one myself, even before I had a cat- having been raised around 2-3 most of my life, I was a little bereft without them.

      Good for you not looking at the challenge! It's hard for me, since they put it on the homepage, which I usually troll to see what everyone's up to, but really- I have a lot of long books I want to read, when all I was reading was short ones.

      It's really strange: I thought I knew a lot about cats, having worked in a shelter with them, but once I got one of my own, I realized how different it is to maintain one in your own house. I've probably spent twice as much time Googling cat info than I do blog reading.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Farhana!
      ~Litha Nelle

  3. Congrats on the new cat! George is a cutie! :D Also I loved reading your list of awesome Georges, it is a pretty great name after all. :) I want a cat so bad, but I'm waiting until my finances are in order to make the investment.
    Also I had no idea that there was a graphic novel prequel series to Game of Thrones. I've only recently started watching the TV series and plan on starting the books soon (I bought the whole series for my hubby). I will definitely need to pick up those graphic novels for him and I later. :)

    1. George appreciates your compliments- I think he knows he's ridiculously cute-looking. Cats definitely take up more cash than you'd think: just for the basics (cat house/bed, litterbox, litter, cat food, safety collar, toys) it was about $80 plus George's adoption fee ($35).
      The Hedge Knight graphic novels were better than I thought they'd be: they're a great intro to the series and aren't near as wince-worthy (some of the series descriptions are appetite-killers). I'm a bit disappointed that the tv show will outpace the books, but it has certainly gotten people to read again.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jamie!
      ~Litha Nelle


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