Sunday, December 3, 2017

Fortnightly Update #40: Flares and Five Star Reads

It's been a long time since my last update, so I'll just share the highlights of my reading life during October (lots of books read) and November (just a few books read). I've been flaring (having increased episodes of pain that usually last days) more this winter than is usual for me, which is weird because we've barely had any snow here. Of course, my room looks a much more reasonable shade of messy than it did when I last blogged, so that may've been the culprit.

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

the-pile Additions:

I bought a clothbound edition of Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb, because it's one of my favorite series ever and the color is perfect for my shelves:

I also ordered Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson as a huge hardcover and I'm currently reading that.

the-invisible-pile Additions:

Even though I haven't been actively blogging, I did pick up one read now book on NetGalley:

The Philosopher's Flight: A Novel by Tom Miller
Expected Publication: February 13th
This sounded too Litha-y for me to pass on- fantasy and historical fiction in one book, written by an ER doctor? Hopefully it reads as well as its blurb is written.

The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden
I have heard a lot about this book and I've had people recommend it to me, so a while ago when it was on sale I picked it up. It sounds like just the book for me.

Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison by Shaka Senghor
A memoir about healing sounded like something I needed. I like to pick up memoirs of people who've had different life experiences from my own.

Currently Reading:

This one is a huge chunky hulk of a book- but so far I like it. It takes a while for me to get the gist of things in fantasy books (even with a recap of the last two in this series fresh in my brain). There are things happening, but I'm not sure what it means yet.

Finished These Books:

Since it's been so long since my last update, I will share only the titles I liked best. The rest can be found on my Goodreads challenge page.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Rating: 5 Stars
Sometimes, you need poetry. I saw Rupi Kaur's work on Facebook and decided to buy a digital copy of her work since it was on sale- and I'm glad I did. She is a gifted poet with a unique way of expressing herself.

Rating: 5 Stars
This one was a bit hard to finish, since it dealt with death and I was reading it while I was dealing with death. Nonetheless, it is certainly the best novel I've read this year and well worth picking up if you get a chance. It is classified as YA, but it does deal with mature topics.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal (Ms. Marvel #1) by G. Willow Wilson (Author) and Adrian Alphona (Artist)
Rating: 4 Stars
If you find yourself in a bit of a reading rut, I would suggest trying a graphic novel. This one I found really charming and insightful. 

Rating: 4 Stars
Something about this book seemed even better than the previous books I've read in this series. I think it hit closer to home for Eve Dallas, which made it a better book.

In My Life:

I have been supervising some work that's been needed in our house. In the area we live in in Idaho, we have hard water. When I say hard water, most people think everyone has a bit of that and it's a fairly mundane problem, but ours is so mineral dense that the plumbers were remarking on it (they live in this area, but not in the same city). I think part of the problem may be that the house is so old, most things in it already have a flaky crust of minerals on them, including the pipes, and the hard water just builds on it.

The point is, we've been needing a water softener since we came here. The hard water has caused the premature deaths of many of our appliances, and also, our faucets. Even with the old vinegar soak trick, most of our faucets still have a grimy white film on them that recurs within days of cleaning. We bought a water softener and a new water heater for the main level of the house, and a total replacement of my mom's bathtub fixtures. Since her tub is an old "eagle claw" foot tub, it's no small feat to find the proper parts, and there was a mix up that resulted in the installation being delayed.

While all this is happening, all of the pets are locked up and pissed off, which doesn't improve my mood either. I had considered starting blogging back in late November, but I'm glad I didn't because supervising the plumbers and coddling cooped up pets isn't exactly easy, even if it was only for a few days.

Which books have you liked most in 2017?


  1. I'm sorry this has been such a terrible process, Litha. Once it's done though, hopefully your water problems will be resolved! I've also heard of The Bear and the Nightingale but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet (like the other 2,000 books on my TBR...). Lucky that you found it on sale, though! That's my favorite way to buy books: just happening upon them when they're being sold for a good deal :) I hope your next two weeks are better, Litha!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Thanks, Laura- I'm glad it's finally being done, but locking the pets up makes me cranky. ;) Yes, The Bear and the Nightingale also became one of my 500+ TBR too... I hope I like it as much as most people did!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Laura!
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. Pissed off pets are no fun! We are lucky that our cat is so afraid of strangers, the minute one enters the house she skulks to the deepest darkest recesses of the living room closet that has a curtain instead of a door. My mother has a had a softener at her house since it was built, but it was an absolute necessity because she also has sulpher in the water and the house would smell like farts all the time, ha ha.

    I am excited to start reading The Bear and the Nightingale! I loved and adored The Rules of Magic, too. I have not read Practical Magic, yet, but am waiting until the library card gets straightened out because it never goes on ebook sale. I am such a Scrooge.

    I hope December is a better month for you. I was happy that we didn't have to turn the heat on until the first week of November because I have conundrum panic attacks; being really cold sets me up for an attack, but the furnace being on and the baseboard heating smelling hot is a huge trigger for me, so I am pretty much miserable all winter. Heh heh. Here's to some festive distractions for the next month! 💜

    1. George hides, and then gets really attached, and then gets pissed off when people leave instead of joining our commune. XD Whenever I boiled our water, you could see all these gross ginormous flakes of minerals, and it tasted slightly boggy to me. I guess not as bad as farty.

      I hope you enjoy Practical Magic whenever you get to it- personally, I felt The Rules of Magic was much better. I'll have to reread it someday and discover if that is true.

      Ugh, baseboard heat! I don't blame you for hating the smell. We have radiators/iron dragons in our house, which actually have no perceivable odor to them. However, it can get stifling for me, as my mom likes the heat high, and I enjoy freezing to being warm.

      I hope you had a fantastic December! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
      ~Litha Nelle

  3. Woo so excited to see you picked up Bear and the Nightingale! I hope you enjoy it and look forward to seeing your thoughts on it! I have a hold on Milk and Honey at the library too and am excited to get it, I've been in a poetry mood lately which doesn't happen very often, I've just been really wanting to read things that are short and easy to digest since my life has been kind of hectic the last couple of months. I'm sorry you had a lot of pain over the winter, I hope you're feeling better!


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