The Monday Check-In ~ 11/20/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Greetings from Connecticut! I’m on the East Coast spending Thanksgiving with family. Wishing everyone a peaceful and joyful turkey day! My blogging will be minimal this week, but I hope to read lots and lots.

What did I read last week?

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant: If mermaid horror isn’t already its own genre, this book should change that! Absolutely loved it. Review to follow.

Outlander !!

My reaction post for episode 310, “Heaven and Earth” is here. Not the best episode of the season, but hey — all Outlander is good Outlander.

Here’s a little peek at the episode:

Fresh Catch:

No new books this past week! Although I did indulge a bit when it comes to Kindle daily deals.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

Odd & True by Cat Winters: So excited to finally be reading the newest release from Cat Winters!

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny: A book club read for November — seems like a lot of fun.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden: I read this book at the beginning of 2017 (review), and loved it. I’m doing an audiobook re-read now before diving into the sequel — although my listening will be pretty limited while on vacation this week.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott: My book group’s classic read! We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week.
  • Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon: Our group read of Private Matter is almost done — just three chapters to go! We’ll be moving on to Lord John & the Succubus in January — contact me if you’d like to join in.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 11/13/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life… and a programming note.

I’ll be away for Thanksgiving week, and may not be keeping up with my regular blogging activities. We shall see. Meanwhile, I’m enthusiastically building piles of paperbacks to throw into my suitcase!

What did I read last week?

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay: My review is here.

Artemis by Andy Weir: My review is here.

Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger: A sweet, sexy novella. My review is here.

In audiobooks:

Indexing: Reflections by Seanan McGuire: Wow, what a great listen! My thoughts are here.

I also did a quick listen to Once Upon A Time in the North by Philip Pullman, a novella that’s a prequel to the events of His Dark Materials. Excellent, as are all of the audiobooks in the series. The full-cast recordings are just amazing, with terrific narration by the author himself and some very talented voice actors in the cast.

And in graphic novels…

The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship by Philip Pullman: A fun, quick graphic novel aimed at middle grade to young teen readers — an adventure story involving time travel, a mysterious ship, and bad guys set on world domination. I’ve been on a Pullman roll lately, so I just had to check this one out.

The Walking Dead, volume 28: A Certain Doom: Well, I binge-read and binge-watched The Walking Dead this year, so I just had to read the newest volume as soon as my library got it in stock.

Outlander !!

My reaction post for episode 309, “The Doldrums” is here. Great episode!

Here’s a little peek at “Doldrums”:

And in case you missed them, here are my reaction posts for the previous two episodes:

Fresh Catch:

First, I received a copy of Paperbacks From Hell by Grady Hendrix, courtesy of the lovely folks at Quirk:

And just yesterday, a special treat (from me to me) arrived in the mail — a signed copy of the 25th anniversary edition of Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon!

BTW, did you know that you can get signed copies of pretty much all of Diana Gabaldon’s books from the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Phoenix? Check out their web info, here.

Last but not least, a delivery of a book I’m so looking forward to reading — Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant, a full-length novel that’s a follow-up to the excellent novella Rolling in the Deep.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

Odd & True by Cat Winters: So excited to finally be reading the newest release from Cat Winters! I’ve loved every single thing she’s written so far, and this one is off to a great start.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden: I read this book at the beginning of 2017 (review), and loved it. I’m doing an audiobook re-read now before diving into the sequel!

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott: My book group’s classic read! We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week.
  • Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a Lord John readalong — we’ll be reading all of the Lord John novels and stories in story chronology. Let me know if you’d like to participate! All are welcome.

So many books, so little time…

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Audiobook Review: Reflections (Indexing, #2) by Seanan McGuire


“For her to love me, she had to be willing to kill me. Anything else would show that her heart was untrue.”

The struggle against not-so-charming storybook narratives isn’t the only complicating factor in Henrietta “Henry” Marchen’s life. As part of the ATI Management Bureau team protecting the world from fairy tales gone awry, she’s juggling her unwanted new status as a Snow White, dealing with a potentially dangerous Pied Piper, and wrangling a most troublesome wicked stepsister—along with a budding relationship with Jeff, her teammate.

But when a twisted, vicious Cinderella breaks out of prison and wreaks havoc, things go from disenchanted to deadly. And once Henry realizes someone is trying to use her to destroy the world, her story becomes far from over—and this one might not have a happily ever after.

Indexing: Reflections is New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s continuing new urban fantasy, where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.

Book 2 of the fabulous Indexing series is just as fun and dangerous as the first! The story continues, as Henry’s field team is back out there fighting the good fight to keep fairy tale narratives from killing lots of innocent people. The gang is back together, along with a few new folks (including the HR lady who also happens to be a Bluebeard’s Wife).

It’s not all silly games, though — the stories become dark very quickly, and the various characters, especially Henry and the ever-fascinating Sloane, must face down the demons of their darkest secrets and the scary bad guys of their pasts in order to save the day and save themselves.

Sloane is technically a secondary character, but in Reflections, she gets to take the first-person narrative for several chapters, and she’s a hoot, particularly in the audiobook, where her voice comes across as a potty-mouthed, spoiled, super cranky Valley Girl. Kudos to narrator Mary Robinette Kowal for making Sloane just so excellent.

The voice-work throughout is pretty terrific, only faltering a bit for some of the male characters. This didn’t bother me as much in the 2nd book, because overall the narration is just so compelling and captivating, really capturing the humor and the tension and the darkness so convincingly.

I really ended up loving both of the Indexing books, and want more! Will there be more? Please tell me there will be more! While Reflections comes to a very satsifying conclusion after a truly epic adventure, there’s plenty of room for further adventures of Henry and her field team.

See my review of book #1, Indexing, here.

_________________________________________

The details:

Title: Indexing
Author: Seanan McGuire
Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Publisher: 47North
Publication date: January 12, 2016
Length (print): 325 pages
Length (audiobook): 12 hours, 18 minutes
Genre: Urban fantasy
Source: Purchased

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The Monday Check-In ~ 11/6/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

What did I read last week?

La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, volume 1) by Philip Pullman: Amazing! I loved this book. My review is here.

Outlander !!

I’m finally posting a reaction post on the same day an episode airs! I have two episodes covered since my last Monday Check-in:

Click on the links to see my reaction to these two episodes, and let me know your thoughts as well!

Here’s a little peek at “First Wife”:

Fresh Catch:

My Kindle preorder of the newest Gail Carriger novella landed over the weekend!

More Parasol-verse, please!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay: Just getting started. I’ve read a few of this author’s books, and really enjoy her way of incorporating Jane Austen and other classics into contemporary stories.

Next up will be Artemis by Andy Weir. Can’t wait!

Now playing via audiobook:

Indexing: Reflections by Seanan McGuire: The 2nd book in the super-fun Indexing series. Loving it — should finish by the end of the week.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott: My book group’s classic read! We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week.
  • Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a Lord John readalong — we’ll be reading all of the Lord John novels and stories in story chronology. Let me know if you’d like to participate! All are welcome.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 10/30/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

What did I read last week?

Indexing by Seanan McGuire: I finished up my audiobook listen — my reaction is here.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: I did it! I finally, finally, finally did what I’ve been talking about for years — I read Great Expectations! Some thoughts, here.

Outlander !!

My love for Outlander knows no bounds. Check out my reaction post from last week’s super-sized reunion episode (“A. Malcolm”) here. My reaction post for the 7th episode (“Creme de Menthe”) which aired last night will be up in a day or two –meanwhile, enjoy this little peek:

Fresh Catch:

Three new books this week – so exciting!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, #1) by Philip Pullman: I started this a week ago, then got derailed by Great Expectations. But now I’m back! Only 3 chapters read so far, but I’m loving it.

Now playing via audiobook:

Indexing: Reflections by Seanan McGuire: I had so much fun with the first book in the Indexing series that I just couldn’t resist moving straight on to book #2.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott: My book group’s classic read! We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week.
  • Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a Lord John readalong — we’ll be reading all of the Lord John novels and stories in story chronology. Let me know if you’d like to participate! All are welcome.

So many books, so little time…

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Audiobook Review: Indexing by Seanan McGuire


“Never underestimate the power of a good story.”

Good advice…especially when a story can kill you.

For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected—perhaps infected is a better word—by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.

That’s where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. When you’re dealing with storybook narratives in the real world, it doesn’t matter if you’re Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or the Wicked Queen: no one gets a happily ever after.

Indexing is New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s new urban fantasy where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.

Indexing is a fun take on a dangerous situation — memetic incursions, in which fairy tale narratives intrude into the real world, activating people into playing out their pre-programmed stories with potentially disastrous results. A Sleeping Beauty stumbles into a metropolitan hospital, and suddenly everyone in the facility is plunged into a deep sleep. Snow Whites have a hard time avoiding poison, and a wise Snow White will never, ever eat an apple. A Pied Piper with a flute in her hands can wreak havoc simply by playing the right song.

It’s up to the field team at the ATI Management Bureau to head off these incursions and keep the world safe (and happily ignorant) from the narrative’s dangerous intrusions. The main character is Henrietta Marchen, better known as Henry, who is a not-yet-activated Snow White — and yes, that means that she has skin as white as snow and lips as red as blood, which in real life makes her look pretty scary as opposed to Disney-princess adorable. Henry’s team includes Sloane, a decades-old evil stepsister who seems to forever be a petulant teen, Jeff, the team archivist who’s also a part of the shoemaker and the elves narrative, and PR dude Andy, who isn’t touched by the narrative at all (although he does have a close encounter with a Frog Prince).

The plot takes the team through a variety of emergencies, where they rush in to save the world from the weirdly dangerous fairy tales that pop up with increasing frequency. It’s up to the team to figure out why the incursions are happening at an unusually high rate. Someone is messing with the narrative itself, and if they can’t find and stop the perpetrator, reality itself is doomed.

Indexing is quite an enjoyable read. Despite the fairy tale subject, it’s a gritty urban fantasy, with bloody deaths and salty language. (My favorite is when Sloane, abrasive and obnoxious but loyal in her own caustic way, refers to Henry as “Snow Bitch”.) The memetic incursions are always surprising, as the author takes classic fairy tales and makes it plain just how deadly their effect could be if transposed to the modern world and set loose.

Narrator Mary Robinette Kowal does a great job of capturing the personalities of the main characters such as Henry, Sloane, and newbie Demi, although she struggles to do convincing male voices. You know how some audiobook narrators can convey both genders in such a way that you absolutely forget that you’re listening to a woman doing a male character or vice versa? That doesn’t happen here. I found it a bit distracting whenever the narrator would lower her voice for the portrayals of Jeff and especially Andy — they sounded artificial, and it consistently took me out of the story.

That said, the narrator’s version of Henry was excellent, especially when Henry’s inner Snow White takes the lead. Just by the voice, you can absolutely tell which part of Henry’s personality is dominant at the moment. And I loved her nasty Valley Girl voice for Sloane — so offensive and pissed off, really pretty perfect.

The plot of Indexing does take some puzzling through, as the concept of the narrative isn’t always entirely clear. The explanations of various occurrences and their resolutions are occasionally overly convoluted, and I felt the world-building could have used just a smidge more fleshing out.

All in all, though, Indexing is really a fun experience, and listening to the audiobook kept me engaged and entertained for all the hours I spent with it. I’m looking forward to starting the sequel!

_________________________________________

The details:

Title: Indexing
Author: Seanan McGuire
Narrator: Mary Robinette Kowal
Publisher: 47North
Publication date: May 21, 2013
Length (print): 420 pages
Length (audiobook): 12 hours, 5 minutes
Genre: Urban fantasy
Source: Purchased

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The Monday Check-In ~ 10/23/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

In an otherwise busy week of work, I had two great brushes with cultural life. One, I went with my son to see a wonderful hula performance over the weekend. And two, I GOT TICKETS TO SEE HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD ON BROADWAY! Granted, the tickets are for June, so that’s a pretty long time from now, but I’m still super excited!

What did I read last week?

Guts: The Anatomy of the Walking Dead by Paul Vigna: Clearly, you have to be a fan to enjoy this one… but since I am, I did. My review is here.

Elsewhere on the blog:

Check out my post summing up the glory of listening to the His Dark Materials trilogy audiobooks.

Outlander !!

The print shop! It was the reunion of the (18th) century last night on Outlander! I’ll have my reaction post up later today or tomorrow.

The Walking Dead:

If I spend all day yawning today, blame the premier of The Walking Dead! Couldn’t stop thinking about it, therefore didn’t get much sleep, and I’m likely to spend the day looking like this:

Life is hell before my morning coffee…

Fresh Catch:

Another batch of my E-Bay Georgette Heyer purchases arrived this week:

I also treated myself to two books from the new Tor collection of mini-hardbacks:

I posed them here alongside my Funko Pops to give a sense of their size. They’re really adorable little hardcover books. Find out more about the collection here.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, #1) by Philip Pullman: I’m so excited to be started this! I’m only a few chapters in so far, but loving it.

Now playing via audiobook:

Indexing by Seanan McGuire: Fairy tales are real! This audiobook is lots of fun. Should be done by the end of the week.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott: My book group’s classic read! We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week.
  • Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a Lord John readalong — we’ll be reading all of the Lord John novels and stories in story chronology. Let me know if you’d like to participate! All are welcome.

Via Serial Reader:

  • I decided to finally dive in and start Great Expectations! I’m using the Serial Reader app, and really liking it so far.

So many books, so little time…

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Audiobook awesomeness: His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

Over the last two months, I’ve had one of my most delightful experiences with audiobooks. I decided to revisit the world of the His Dark Materials trilogy, since (a) it’s been many, many years since I read the books, and (b) a new book is coming out this fall. (THIS WEEK! NOW!!!)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 17 years (!!) since the publication of The Amber Spyglass, the 3rd book in the trilogy (following The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife). I remember being blown away by these books upon first read, but after all these years, I was fuzzy on the details.

Side note: I choose to disregard the existence of the Golden Compass movie, which utterly failed to capture the essence of the books and characters. But that’s an issue best left in the past…

So what was so special about these audiobooks?

For starters, they’re full-cast recordings. Oddly enough, full-cast audiobooks don’t usually appeal to me. When I’ve tried them before, I tend to feel removed from the story — maybe because it’s more like listening to a dramatization than like reading an actual book.

Whatever the reason, this time around, I just loved it. Philip Pullman takes the role of narrator, and he’s marvelous. His reading of his own work is nuanced and expressive, and he infuses his lines with wit, humor, and when needed, sorrow and intensity. Beyond Pullman himself, the rest of the cast is simply terrific. I don’t know who these voice actors are, but their talent is huge! The voice of Lyra was perfect — young, intense, brave, emotional — and Will was spot-on too, fierce, loving, worried, daring. Probably most magnificent was the voice of Iorek Byrnison — I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a deep, rumbly voice on an audiobook. If a polar bear could speak English and deigned to have a conversation with one of us puny humans, I bet that’s exactly what he’d sound like. Other stand-outs are the voices of Texas aeronaut Lee Scoresby and the often wicked but strangely sympathetic Mrs. Coulter.

Now, if you’ve read these books, you know that an important part of Pullman’s world building is the presence of daemons — a corporeal, animal being who represents each person’s true inner being. Every human in Lyra’s world has a daemon, and the shape they take is often quite representative of the nature of the person. Children’s daemon’s can change shape at will, until they child reaches puberty, at about which time the daemon settles into his or her final shape. Worth noting, too, is that a daemon is always the opposite gender of the person it’s attached to — so Lyra’s daemon Pantalaimon is male. On the audiobooks, the daemons who have speaking roles are voiced in ways completely appropriate to their personalities. The absolute best is Lee’s daemon Hester, a jackrabbit with a feminine Western twang.

As for the story, I’m kind of assuming that anyone bothering to read this post is already familiar with the amazing world of His Dark Materials. For those who aren’t familiar, here are the brief plot summaries from Goodreads:

Book 1 – The Golden Compass (also published under the title Northern Lights):

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

Book 2 – The Subtle Knife:

Lost in a new world, Lyra finds Will—a boy on the run, a murderer—a worthy and welcome ally. For this is a world where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and witches share the skies with troops of angels.

Each is searching—Lyra for the meaning of Dark Matter, Will for his missing father—but what they find instead is a deadly secret, a knife of untold power. And neither Lyra nor Will suspects how tightly their lives, their loves, and their destinies are bound together… until they are split apart.

Book 3 – The Amber Spyglass:

The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heart-stopping end, marking the final volume of His Dark Materials as the most powerful of the trilogy.

Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, come a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spymaster to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel. So, too, come startling revelations: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone’s amber spyglass, and the names of who will live–and who will die–for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that–in its shocking outcome–will uncover the secret of Dust. Philip Pullman deftly brings the cliff-hangers and mysteries of His Dark Materials to an earth-shattering conclusion–and confirms his fantasy trilogy as an undoubted and enduring classic.

It’s funny how certain things stick in your mind — or my mind, anyway. I absolutely remembered about Dust and daemons, about Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter, the Mulefa, Metatron, and more. What I didn’t remember was the sheer power of this story. What starts out feeling mostly like a children’s book (albeit a children’s book with gifted-level vocabulary) by the end has transformed into an epic tale that shares universal truths about love, honesty, the nature of good and evil, devotion, betrayal, friendship, and freedom.

The emotional impact by the end is enormous. I clearly remembered being devastated by the end of the trilogy, and yet I was still pretty much hit over the head with an anvil all over again while listening by the intensity of the heart-ache the characters experience. It’s simply lovely and tragic and uplifting, all at the same time.

As an added bonus, Pullman later published two shorter works set in the same world: Lyra’s Oxford, which takes place two years after the conclusion of The Amber Spyglass, and Once Upon a Time in the North, which is set about 35 years earlier, showing the first eventful meeting of Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnison. Both of these novellas are available as audiobooks, and like the main trilogy, are highly enriched by the full-cast recording. (It’s definitely worth getting the hard copies as well, as the physical editions include wonderful woodcut illustrations and all sorts of bits and pieces of ephemera related to His Dark Materials — writing scraps, maps, ballooning guides, postcards, and even a board game.)

Finally, there’s a short story available either as an e-book or audiobook. The Collectors is very creepy, and I’d say listen to the audio version. Bill Nighy does a fabulous job with the narration, and it only takes about a half hour, but is definitely worth it.

I realize that this is by no means a comprehensive book review of His Dark Materials and the associated works. And it’s not meant to be. Really, I’ve just gotten completely swept away by these wonderful audiobooks, and I couldn’t keep it to myself a moment longer!

Especially for anyone thinking about reading the upcoming new release, La Belle Sauvage, going back to His Dark Materials via audiobook will be a huge treat, absolutely worth the time.

Needless to say, for anyone who hasn’t read these books at all yet, please do! His Dark Materials is one of those trilogies usually shelved with children’s fiction, but which truly transcends the age or genre labels. These books are just plain good fantasy literature; they transport us to multiple alternate worlds but never lose their human heart.

 

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Books in the series:
The Golden Compass (1995)
The Subtle Knife (1997)
The Amber Spyglass (2000)
Lyra’s Oxford (2003)
Once Upon a Time in the North (2008)
The Collectors (2014)
NEW: La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, book 1) – to be released 10/19/2017

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The Monday Check-In ~ 10/16/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Like everyone else in San Francisco, I’ve been focused all week on the terrible wildfires raging throughout the regions just north of us. So terribly upsetting, and it’s not over yet. We’re all looking for ways to donate, help, and offer support to those suffering, as well as the brave folks out there fighting the fires.

What did I read last week?

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King: I finished this last Sunday, and posted my thoughts a few days later. Check out my review, here.

LaRose by Louise Erdrich: My book group’s discussion book for October, finished just in the nick of time! My thoughts are here.

I also wrapped up my return visit to the world of His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. I finished the audiobook of The Amber Spyglass (so beautiful!), and re-read both Lyra’s Oxford and Once Upon a Time in the North as well. I’m so excited for the new book, The Book of Dust, to arrive this week!

Outlander !!

Outlander is on break this week, with the next new episode (the print shop!!) coming October 22nd. Meanwhile, myy reaction post for the 5th episode is here. And in other Outlander news, there was an exciting casting announcement for season 4 — find out more here.

Other TV:

Check out my post about what I’m watching this fall, here.

Fresh Catch:

I mentioned last week that I went on an EBay spree and ordered a bunch of Georgette Heyer books. Five more arrived this week… whee!

And there are still a few more yet to come!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

Guts: The Anatomy of The Walking Dead by Paul Vigna: Don’t judge me! I just got this book from the library, and I’m VERY INTO IT.

Now playing via audiobook:

Indexing by Seanan McGuire: Just getting started, but it’s cute so far. I mean, c’mon — it’s by Seanan McGuire! It just has to be good, right?

Ongoing reads:

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott: My book group’s classic read! We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week.

Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a Lord John readalong — we’ll be reading all of the Lord John novels and stories in story chronology. Let me know if you’d like to participate! All are welcome.

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 10/9/2017

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

What did I read last week?

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King: At some point, I became convinced that I was stuck in some sort of weird time loop in which I was forever reading Sleeping Beauties… but finally, after 8 days and 700 pages, I’m done! I’ll write up some thoughts to share in the next few days.

Outlander !!

My reaction post for the 4th episode is here. Stay tuned for more — my reaction post for episode 5 will be up in a day or two.

Here’s a peek at episode 5:

 

Fresh Catch:

I went on an EBay spree and ordered a bunch of Georgette Heyer books. Here’s what’s arrived so far:

And 3 or 4 more are on the way!

Also, a wonderful coworker (and friend) gave me an Amazon gift card a couple of weeks ago for a birthday present, and here’s what I ended up treating myself to:

I can see hours and hours of blissful nerding out in my future.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
 

LaRose by Louise Erdrich: Just starting! I’ve really been looking forward to this one.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman: Book three of the His Dark Materials trilogy — should be done later this week. The full-cast recording is really remarkably good.

Ongoing reads:

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott: My book group’s classic read! We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week.

Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon: Outlander Book Club is doing a Lord John readalong — we’ll be reading all of the Lord John novels and stories in story chronology. Let me know if you’d like to participate! All are welcome.

So many books, so little time…

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