Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fortnightly Update #20: More Book Fodder and the End of the Minion Army

I have a rather book-heavy post this week, given my orders from Better World Books came in, and I found a bunch of other bookish deals. I also read seven books in the last two weeks, and hopefully some of them will end up reviewed.

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

the-pile Additions:

From Better World Books:

The Smoke Thief (Drakon #1) by Shana Abe
I finished this one, and loved the mix of historical and paranormal romance, though I didn't care for the couple all that much. The storyline and worldbuilding are great.

Song in the Silence (The Tale of Lanen Kaelar #1) by Elizabeth Kerner
I'm not sure if this was a Goodreads rec or a case of cover lust, but any book with a heroine and dragons tends to wind up in one of my piles.

The Legend of Nightfall (Nightfall #1) by Mickey Zucker Reichert
This was a Goodreads recommend- I like to collect books on assassins, especially when set in a fantasy world.

Star of the Morning (Nine Kingdoms #1) by Lynn Kurland
I can't remember if Goodreads recommended this to me or someone else, but it seems to be a balance of fantasy and romance. As far as I've read- more on the fantasy side.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1) by Douglas Adams
This is going to be a BBC series very soon, and I hope to read it prior... and then watch the tv series, if I remember to.

Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman
I finished this one- a brief impression of it is under Finished These Books.

Jeeves in the Morning (Jeeves #8) by P.G. Wodehouse
The Return of Jeeves (Jeeves #10) by P.G. Wodehouse
Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit (Jeeves #11) by P.G. Wodehouse
Jeeves in the Offing (Jeeves #12) by P.G. Wodehouse
Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (Jeeves #13) by P.G. Wodehouse
Much Obliged, Jeeves (Jeeves #14) by P.G. Wodehouse
Even though I've only read one Jeeves book, I'm starting to collect them all. I love that it reads like a British sitcom in book form.

Rendezvous with Rama (Rama #1) by Arthur C. Clarke
Although A Fall of Moondust didn't impress me all that much, this is the book that was originally recommended to me. Given the plotline for A Fall of Moondust was a large part of what had me underwhelmed by it, I'm willing to try again.

From Barnes and Noble:

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton
I usually don't order online from Barnes and Noble, but one of my anticipated books for this year, The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer #4) by Brent Weeks is available as an autographed edition if you pre order. I preordered it, but I needed an extra book in my cart for the free shipping, so I picked this one out from the bargain bin, since it's historical fiction, set in Mongolia (or so I think), and boasts high ratings on Goodreads. Also, that cover makes me smile.

the-invisible-pile Additions:

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
I've watched the movie, but I've heard the book differs, so I'm excited to read it. Perhaps even in October?

A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories (Damar) by Robin McKinley
I love Robin McKinley's books, although I haven't read her short stories before (that I recall). This will help get me started.

Never Kiss a Rake (Scandal at the House of Russell #1) by Anne Stuart
Never Trust a Pirate (Scandal at the House of Russell #2) by Anne Stuart
Never Marry a Viscount (Scandal at the House of Russell #3) by Anne Stuart
I've read and been impressed with one of Anne Stuart's books previously, so when these were Kindle Daily Deals I bought them all. I love the covers for these.

Forbidden (Old West #1) by Beverly Jenkins
I've heard a lot about Beverly Jenkins's work, but I've never read any of her books. This one is currently on sale on Amazon US, so I bought it. The storyline sounds interesting, because the man is passing as white, but his interest in the heroine makes it difficult for him (given the time it's set in).

Deal Alert:

Seed to Harvest: Wild Seed, Mind of My Mind, Clay's Ark, and Patternmaster Kindle Edition by Octavia E. Butler (a four book set) is on sale as an ebook for Amazon US today. I have read three  of this set and they've all been recommendable- just keep in mind that the subject matter can be a bit mature. Here's my review of the first book, Wild Seed.

Currently Reading:

I thought this might be more romance-y, but so far it's more fantasy-oriented.

This one is interesting, but the intricate worldbuilding and multiple perspectives make it difficult to read for me.

Finished These Books:

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones
This book has sunshine, on a cloudy day. I reviewed it a while ago.

For some reason, although I did like this book, it reminded me of a short story stretched to novel length. Perhaps it's because I knew the plot going in.

The Red Record by Ida B. Wells-Barnett
I reviewed this earlier this week, and it's one of those books that will linger with me. It's horrifying that lynching went on for so long (and even with the perpetrators unpunished) after this book was published.

As I mentioned, this is a blend of historical and paranormal romance with awesome worldbuilding. I loved the idea of dragon shifters, but felt the couple lacked chemistry, especially when compared with the next book in the series.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman
I wanted to like this book more than I did (I gave it 4 stars), but some of the characters irked me, particularly Ben, who seemed to think peering into people's windows was a-okay. I understood the heroine, Shelby, but I was a bit ticked at her too. I'll expand my thoughts on this for a review later.

Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman
Again, I wanted to love this one, but one of the aspects of the book (which is spoiler-y, so I won't disclose it), irked me. I'm planning on reviewing this one as well, but I have a lot of reviews I want to write.

This one has lingered in my pile for a long time- perhaps because I initially picked it up thinking it was straight up fantasy. I liked it a lot more than the previous book, due to the characters being unusually entangled- Amalia has prophetic dreams about Zane, who is a sort of family friend. Despite the marked difference in their ages, something about them as a couple sat better with me than that of Amalia's parents.

In the Blogosphere:

Kritika @ Snowflakes and Spider Silk reviews The Wrath and The Dawn, a book I promptly added to my to-read list.

Sarah @ Our Words (also Bookworm Blues) posts On Getting A Little Naked, and Why This Website Matters.

Adrian @ Bibliotropic writes about The SFF Divide: On the Assumed Validity of Science Fiction Over Fantasy. As a primary lover of fantasy, I've often felt like it's safer to remark on my love of classic sci-fi books or Margaret Atwood's works than it is my complete obsession with the Lord of the Rings.

In My Life:

My plants are huge now, but I know sometime this month they're likely to freeze and die. It takes a lot of effort to go around and water all of my outdoor potted plants, because I've accumulated quite a few, but I'll still be sad to see them go. My tomato plants were huge, but didn't produce as much as previous years, but given the similar tales on an area gardening page on Facebook, this wasn't the best year for home gardening. It is one of my few hobbies that involves physical activity, though, so I plan to try again next year, if I'm still able enough.

One of the interesting things I noticed was that the black eyed Susan vine, which is native to Africa, actually didn't like the sun as much as it was touted to- the best of those plants were in shade most of the day. Perhaps it was due to the way I raised them, but very few of the flowers I grew from seed liked full sun, even when it said so on the packet they came in, and even when I kept them well watered. I would say the plants that did best this year were the rainbow coleus and the alyssum, and both of those I had mostly on the porch. Alyssum is a very easy annual to grow, and they also smell very sweet, so it was nice to have them on the porch railing.

I will be visiting with a neurosurgeon on Tuesday about my spine being strange, but I don't think he'll be suggesting surgical solutions- he just has more appointments available that anyone else is what I've been led to believe. The University of Utah hospital has yet to contact me, so I'm guessing they have a list of cheap insurance/under-insured people that they're getting to first. I still don't walk well, but I did get a new med for my nerve pain so I can function (somewhat), so that's my good health news for now.

Happy Reading!

AKA Talitha ~Nevermore~ on Twitter


  1. I got the Octavia Butler deal! Yay! Thanks for listing it. I am happy to see you found a physical copy of Illumination Night, to bad it wasn't as wonderful as you expected. I saw the mass addition of Jeeves titles on your Goodreads shelf; now I know why!

    I didn't even get out of the gate with my cointainer gardening this year. The pots are all sitting out in the enclosed porch with bags of potting soil in them next to a basket of seed packets. Ha! At least I am all set to go for next year. I was wondering why I had no offers from friends of their extra tomatoes this year. It makes sense now. If you want a flower that can take full sun like a champ it is cosmos. I love them. I also had great luck when we lived in Toadstone Cottage with English garden mix packets and anything marked "wild"flower mix, for full sun areas. There were almost zero trees on the property, except for a couple of small young trees, so finding a shady spot which wasn't up against the house was near impossible.

    I am glad to hear you got some issue specific pain meds. I hope it help. I also hope you hear from the university soon. Have a fabulous new fortnight. :)

    1. You got a better deal than I did, then! ;) Illumination Night was still a good read, but some of the subject matter had me surprised. Yes, I tend to buy hoards of books at once, at least when Better World Books has a good Bargain Bin sale going.

      You're already prepared for next year, then, while I'll have to re accumulate all my seeds and soil. I'm thinking of ordering my seeds online to see if I can get a seed mix they stopped carrying in stores. I don't think I've tried cosmos in Idaho, but I am positively drowning in daisies every spring, so I have a feeling they'd do well, too. My mom used to have a 10ft patch of dirt where she'd put a wildflower seed mix so our old yard looked like an enchanted meadow. Our new yard is mostly part shade, so we have mostly boring grass for the dogs to roll in.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, La La! Hope you have a great rest of your week!
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. I didn't know there's an I Am Legend book! The movie was pretty good (it did tear my heart out) so hopefully the book will be just as good. I'll definitely have to check that out!

    I feel the same way about sci-fi and fantasy! People always assume that sci-fi is so much more reliable and realistic but sometimes, it isn't. I've definitely had people give me weird looks if I tell them my favorite book is fantasy.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Yes, I Am Legend did have a sad ending, and apparently the book is the same way. I'm still excited to read it, though.

      I've also gotten weird looks for admitting my love of fantasy, which was why I switched my answers to sci-fi (and I still get a few odd looks, but not as many).
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Laura! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!
      ~Litha Nelle


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