Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fortnightly Update #7: Of Computer Meltdowns and Blogiversary Bashes

This week we've had a death in the household- my mom's trusty, but slow (as a tortoise walking backwards) laptop died. Ironically my older mini desktop is still in fine shape, so that means until her laptop arrives in about five days, we'll be sharing a computer. The weird thing about her computer dying was that I was able to help her revive it for a day or two, but then it crashed again. Oh, well... it wasn't like I expected to be able to make it run like new again.

This week will also be my blogiversary bash, which means (due to my excellent procrastination) I have one post planned for tomorrow (April 4th) since it was somehow designated my blogiversary by Blogger. I'm still a bit perplexed by it, but I'm not changing it, even though my first post was published April 10th. I suppose I may have started it, and didn't bother writing anything until then. Anyway, there will be a giveaway (open internationally) so stop by if you like winning free bookish gift certificates.

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

the-pile Additions:

As per usual, I found some irresistible buys for books during my trip to Montana, one of which I've already finished.

George helping point out the book I read with his flame-licked nose
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
I'm not sure if Toni Morrison ever writes about happy things, but this book covers subjects just as dark (sexual abuse, incest, domestic abuse) as Beloved does. This was her first novel, and I have to say I enjoyed it much more than Beloved (which, at times, I felt was baffling).

Pearl of China by Anchee Min
This is a novel based on the life of Pearl S. Buck, the famous writer of historical fiction (set in China). I thought this would be a good pick for my Travel the World in Books challenge.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (with a deliciously vintage cover)
I like collecting classics, especially those with vintage cover art. I've also wanted to read this one for a while, but hadn't found an edition I liked until I stumbled across this one.

Fortress of Eagles (Fortress #2) by C.J. Cherryh
I accidentally bought the second in this series, but luckily Better World Books had the first in the series available for me. I've read Cherryh's science fiction epic (The Faded Sun Trilogy), but I also wanted to try her fantasy, because I liked her other work so much.

Winter Rose (Winter Rose #1) by Patricia A. McKillip
Goodreads has always tried to foist this one off on me in my suggestions. To be honest, I was enthused about this author's work, but could never get past the first few pages of her Riddle-Master Trilogy. However, since this one is more fairy tale based, I'm hoping I'll be able to actually read it (in its entirety).

the-invisible-pile Additions:

My brother apparently had to search far and wide to find a physical copy of this, though I found it for free as a Kindle edition. This apparently has to do with railroads and California (mostly I was intrigued that he'd go to that much trouble to find it).

Currently Reading:

Belladonna (Ephemera #2) by Anne Bishop
I haven't gotten very far because... well, I've started a new game of Skyrim while I do my biking instead. I need to find a book holder for while I'm biking (with my indoor bike, of course), because it's hard for me to work up a sweat and read while awkwardly holding a physical book in front of me and turning said book's pages.

Finished These Books:

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
As described above, I liked this one a lot more than Beloved (which is generally more beloved to people- but not me, I guess). Maybe it was the perspective of a child, or maybe the subject matter, but something about The Bluest Eye struck a chord with me that wasn't quite hit with Beloved.

You know when you finish a book you love, and all you feel you can do to give it a proper review is quote your favorite snippet? Yep, that's what happened with this one. I'm still digesting the feelings it evoked.

Sebastian (Ephemera #1) by Anne Bishop
What this had going for it: unique worlds and worldbuilding, sentient demon cycles (think motorcycles), and a gripping storyline. What it didn't: one of the characters was unabashedly similar to Meg Corbyn (of the Others series) without her depth, and a Den of Iniquity that wasn't what I'd pictured. This is still recommendable for Anne Bishop fans and lovers of unique fantasy, but I didn't like it near as much as Written in Red.

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington ~ Nugi Garimara
I had seen some or most of the film version of this, which did spoil my experience to some extent, but I still greatly enjoyed most of the book, despite some dry spots. This book has more girl power and sheer determination than your average read.

In the Blogosphere:

Kritika @ Snowflakes and Spider Silk discusses Book Talk: Fact vs Fiction. As you may have noticed, I tend to slip in at least one nonfiction or memoir read a month now, which is more than I used to read.

Cari and Haley @ My Addiction: Books are celebrating their second blogiversary, with giveaways!

Jenny @ Reading the End reviews Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter, which looks to be an interesting science fiction read- I'm not sure that I've read sociopolitical science fiction before.

In My Life:

Other than trying to study for my driver's permit test, tending to my minions, and sprucing up the yard, there isn't much going on in my life. I did, however, make a delicious triple chocolate cheesecake with ganache topping for my brother's birthday two weeks ago.

Happy Reading!


  1. Gah! That cheesecake looks delish! I need to add In Cold Blood to my Classics Unread shelf on Goodreads. I had no interest in reading any of Capote's works until I read the history snippet about the adult years relationship he and Harper Lee had, in the back of the Middle Grade I read, Tru and Nelle. I guess their friendship feel apart because she got the Pulitzer prize and he didn't. It said he made public statements about ICB being superior in quality to To Kill a Mockingbird. I read Beloved, too, and yes it was confusing. I saw the movie first and I was even more confused after reading the book! Congratulations on your bloigiversary! My second year celebration was supposed to be back in January, but I KEEP FORGETTING TO DO A POST! I don't count the 3-4 months before because they weren't really blog posts I was doing. They were more like tweets. Ha ha. I was so clueless. I will be there with bells on. I saw somewhere where they have holders for Kindles that attach to exercise bikes. That might be an option, too.

    1. That cheesecake *was* delish! ;)
      From what I've learned of him, Capote could be an ass at times. He seemed to run with the cool kids in the artsy circles, while Harper Lee pretty much remained a "recluse" to the public eye (although she had her secrets, I'm sure).
      Beloved just wasn't for me- I know people adore it, but it definitely wasn't for my oblivious to symbolism palate. I think the movie would be less confuzzling.
      Thanks! Congrats on yours, too! You should have Alice in Wonderland "I'm late" gifs for your post! ;)
      I'm thinking I'll have to find a tv tray of some kind- the bike is semi-recumbent and foldable, so there isn't a lot of area for anything to attach to, unfortunately.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, La La!
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. I hope your mom's laptop arrives soon. Sharing a computer can be challenging.

    The Bluest Eye was my first by Morrison and so far my favorite. Such a sad story. I liked In Cold Blood. It reads a lot like fiction, which I understand isn't far from the truth it some parts. I would like to give Winter Rose a try too. Good luck with your driving test!

    1. We got it (and I set it up) today! It wasn't that hard for me, but she did have to endure the 10 foot high stairway that she can usually avoid climbing.
      The Bluest Eye is definitely my favorite of Morrison's (that I've read). It's sad, but it made me think a lot more than Beloved did.
      Anytime I see a classic with a vintage cover, it's a must buy, but I do want to read In Cold Blood, just to see what the fuss is about. The Winter Rose could be a good one- I love fairytale retellings.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Wendy!
      ~Litha Nelle


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