Sunday, June 26, 2016

Fortnightly Update #13: Book Binging, a New Challenge, and a Tree Tragedy

Due to a book buying binge, I decided to join Rachelle @ Fortified by Books's Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge. If you've got a book stockpile of science fiction (or its sub genres) you want to reduce, you may want to join us. Other than that, I haven't been too busy online- most of my efforts have been focused on keeping things together in real life. Having three wild beasts/pets and a mother who's still recovering from hip surgery is eating up some of my time, though other things have also kept me on my feet most days.

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

the-pile Additions:

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
This is a very popular title that I decided to get just because it was cheap at my local thrift store. Also, it looks like a good summer read.

Chanur's Homecoming (Chanur #4) by C.J. Cherryh
I just ordered a bunch of books from Better World Books, with a trilogy of the Chanur series among them. I was a bit shocked to find the next in the series at the thrift store, but it was there, so I got it as well.

The Winds of War (The Henry Family #1) by Herman Wouk
A former pastor of my former church loved this book- and since it's historical WWII fiction, I thought I'd try it out, though my last WWII fiction left me unsatisfied.

the-invisible-pile Additions:

This series is interesting because the author wrote the last book of the series first, and then wrote others. Chronologically, Wild Seed is the first book, so I'll be starting with that one, even though she wrote it second to last of the series. I will hopefully be reading these this summer during the Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge.

I've seen most of the movie version of this, but it was a long time ago. I have wanted to read the book since then, but we'll see how I like it. I've actually never read a Diana Wynne Jones book before.

Currently Reading:

Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani
I haven't been reading this much, as I've been craving historical fiction, which leads us to the book below:

The Vagrants by Yiyun Li
This is a historical set in the late 1970s in China. I've never read anything by this author before, but her writing almost reminds me of Alice Hoffman's due to her ability to make a large part of a city be characters for her book. You'd think it'd be too many characters to keep track of, but the way she's interwoven them is truly brilliant.

Finished These Books:

Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan
I'm excited for the next book in this series, but I wish this book's races had been more unique.

Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
I was wowed by the first half of the book, and let down by the last half. This was a Travel the World in Books pick for me this month.

In the Blogosphere:

Wendy @ Musings of a Bookish Kitty posts her Bookish Thoughts on The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling- another "male" pseudonym). This is one I'd like to read soon.

Rachelle @ Fortified by Books posts her #ShelfLove: Mid-Year Check In. She's done a lot with her TBR pile. Meanwhile, I have stacks of unshelved books all over my house (because I like them/may pick them up someday).

Isabell @ Dreaming With Open Eyes has a discussion on Why is a Good Graphic Design in Blogs Important?. I think she has a lot of good points.

Guinevere @ Twinja Book Reviews posts The Diverse Books Tag! The search for a diverse list of books!- which has a few new ones I haven't seen before, if you seek diverse titles like I do.

Guiltless Reader @ Guiltless Reading has her #Friday56 & #BookBeginnings: The Light Between Oceans {Who's joining the Readalong?)- about a readalong of The Light Between Oceans that I didn't even know was happening. If you'd like to join in, the start date is July 8th.

La La @ La La in the Library posts her inaugural Saturday Evening Conversations post featuring Jolene of Jo's Book Blog. This looks like a great way to get to know other book bloggers.

In My Life (Tree Tragedy):

I have been busy the past few weeks- we got our sprinklers fixed, my mom started driving again five-ish days ago (pretty early for after hip surgery), we've had guests over, and I've had to hunt for groceries all by myself (harkening back to summers I used to spend with my grandma). There was a local animal rescue group who wanted donations of baked goods for a combination yard sale/bake sale, and since I love baking, I decided to do that- making my mom's famous brownies (brownies with marshmallows on top, with a boiled chocolate frosting on top of that), my cupcakes (chocolate cake with a hint of coffee with white chocolate frosting), and my white chocolate chip cookies. Midway through my bakeathon on Friday, I looked out to our backyard and saw this:

We've had high winds (even for the area) and higher temperatures- combine that with my hand watering the lawn, and idiot squirrels over-burrowing into our trees, and you have a recipe for a falling limb. Although it fell on Delphine (our refurbished motorhome) there appears to be no permanent damage (that I can see yet). It was a shock to us, as the tree is fairly healthy compared to some of the others inhabiting our yard (quaking aspens = exasperated sigh). I'm grateful a branch didn't fall on the other side of the tree, as our power line runs past there. Hopefully we'll have some tree trimmer-people come by and give us a decent estimate on taking down the remainder of that cracked in half branch- clearly it won't be stable enough to remain, and it's even longer than the currently downed one (I estimate the one on Delphine is about 20-25 feet long).

How has your past few weeks gone? Are you doing any reading challenges this summer?


  1. Oh no! I'm so sorry about your tree! All of my trees are still pretty young as I planted them only about 5 years ago so I haven't had any branches cracking off yet (except for a baby tree that broke in half because a fat bird decided to sit on top of it). It looks like you've been reading some pretty good books lately, though! I'll definitely have to check out The Vagrants as I haven't read many books set in China and it seems pretty interesting! Happy reading :)

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Darn those fat birds! I think ours is prone to branches breaking off, but this time it was one of the major limbs that had a squirrel hideout in it.
      The Vagrants was excellent- I just finished it on Monday (I think). It has a really great flow to it- I was surprised at how quickly I finished it.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Laura!
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. You've had a very busy time of it as of late. I am glad your mom is driving. I am sorry about the tree! I am glad though to hear there doesn't appear to be any damage to the motor home.

    If I wasn't already doing The Fireman read-along, I would definitely have joined the Light Between Oceans. I've had that one on my to read shelf for quite a while.

    Enjoy the Science Fiction Reading Challenge. It sounds like fun. And thank you for the link to my review of Cuckoo's Calling. :-)

    I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Yeah, we had someone chop up the downed branch yesterday, and the motorhome looks fine- I was surprised the back window didn't crack.
      The Light Between Oceans is another book I've had with me a long time but haven't read yet- that readalong might actually spur me to have it read.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Wendy! You're welcome for the mention, and I hope your weekend was great as well!
      ~ Litha Nelle

  3. Thanks for the shoutout. Which reminds me... I need to give Elizabeth the questions and send them to you, also, for August. While I am thinking about it. I subscribed to your email quite a while ago and noticed I wasn't getting any notices, so I put my email in again and it said I was already subscribed. They are not in my junk mail either. I have to remember to try with my Yahoo account instead of my Gmail. Did you finish Memories Of Ash? I am glad to hear you mom is doing well. I promise to fo better about getting around to comment in a more timely manner. I am off work for vacation for the next two months, so I will certainly have the time. :)

    1. That's weird about the emails- I get them within a few hours of my posting (I subscribe to my own stuff to see if it works- I use Gmail for all my emails). I may have to switch email services if it continues to be an issue for you (and likely others)- keep me updated if you can't get them.
      I did finish Memories of Ash! I really enjoyed it... I'll have to get around to a review sometime. Don't sweat about the commenting, it's hard for me to remember who I'm going to comment on (usually I try to hit my main blogging peeps and some others every week). I hope you enjoy your vacation!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, La La!
      ~Litha Nelle


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