Sunday Post: Sep 28

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The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

Home & blogold-books

My niece had a baby girl last night–Liv Tallula. The names marry their Scandinavian and Irish roots. Erik (the dad) has already sent a long email announcing the birth. I’m so happy for them!

My husband got home from his trip and it’s great to see him. We are sorting through things this weekend–getting stuff ready to go to Goodwill. Plus I’m sorting through books. Some I’m going to donate to my library, some I will try to sell at a used bookstore and some which are in bad condition I will need to throw away. It’s hard for me to throw books away so we’ll see how I do with that. I’m also thinking of offering giveaways of some books on my blog. I’ll have to think about that–most of my books are pretty old and people may not want them!

I’m trying to use the library more for the books I want to read. I’ve used libraries extensively through the years, but when I started reading e-books four or five years ago I embraced e-books so thoroughly I had trouble reading a paper book!

In fact, until this week I hadn’t read a fiction book in paper format for at least two or three years. I have found a few e-books and audiobooks from the library during this time, but most of the books available are older. I just can’t spend $8 or more for very many e-books each year so I’ve decided to try reading paper books again!

It’s interesting–I’m reading Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz and I’m finding it slow going at first. Two things I miss (beside the Kindle itself!): having a built-in light and highlighting portions of the book which I do when I read on my Kindle. I use the highlighting when writing my reviews and for the pull quotes I use in my reviews. I’m trying to keep a notebook with me or use my computer to take notes, but that pulls me out of the book. I’ve also found myself trying to swipe the page to turn the page…LOL.

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz

A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie (audiobook)

What I read this week

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Books, E-books, Audiobooks–library, purchased or free

Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz (library)

Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick (library)

The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells (e-book)

A Heart of Ice by Hailey Edwards (novella)

A Kiss of Venom by Hailey Edwards (novella)

Next Week

Home & blog

It’s hard to believe October is almost here!

Posts

  • TTT
  • October books on my radar. . .
  • Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

Review: Jhereg by Steven Brust

jhereg

 

Jhereg
by Steven Brust
Narrated by Bernard Setaro Clark
Series: Vlad Taltos, Book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Audible Studios, 2012 (originally published 1983)
E-book & Audiobook, Purchased
239 pages
8 hours, 40 minutes
Grade: B+
Narrator Grade: B+
Synopsis: The first to be published, this is actually the fourth novel in the timeline of the VLAD TALTOS series. The books recount the adventures of the wisecracking hired killer Vlad, a human on a planet mainly inhabited by the long-lived, extremely tall sorcerers known as the Dragaerans. One of the most powerful bosses in the Jhereg–Dragaera’s premier criminal organization–hires Vlad, one of their guild members, to assassinate Mellar, who stole millions from the Jhereg leadership and fled. Unfortunately, this thief turns out to be protected in a way that makes it difficult for Vlad to do his job without gaining the permanent enmity of a friend. The reader also learns more about Vlad’s past in this, and in other, lives.

Always speak politely to an enraged dragon.

Cheers

  • I really like this story.
  • Vlad is a great character. I don’t feel like I know too much about him by the end of the book, but that’s okay. He’s mysterious…an assassin, also a human on a world with very few humans.
  • We would classify Vlad as a criminal, but he has carved a life for himself on a world where most humans aren’t even considered “human.”
  • In this world death isn’t necessarily permanent. An interesting concept.
  • The world building is also rather mysterious. Not a great deal is explained about this world, but it’s an interesting world. One I want to find out more about.
  • Manners are very important in this society and one must know the manners in each group and follow them if one is going to be successful and survive.
  • We learn a bit about Vlad’s companion (familiar) named Loiosh and how Vlad came to acquire him. That’s a story in itself. They communicate with mind speech and Loiosh isn’t very polite!
  • The narrator definitely increased my enjoyment for this story. He was very good. I wish I could afford to get all the books as audiobooks.
  • There’s a bit of mystery to the story.

Jeers

  • I’m puzzled since in the synopsis it states this is actually the fourth book in the series even though it was published first. In the chronologies I always see this book listed first.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy in the 1980’s, but I hadn’t heard of this series or read anything by Steven Brust.
  • Since these first books were published in the 1980’s they aren’t always easy to find. The earlier books aren’t available yet as e-books. The books were republished 10 or 15 years ago as omnibuses with 2 or 3 books per edition.
  • Some of them (such as this one) are audiobooks. I originally found Jhereg for sale on Audible and knew nothing about it, but it sounded interesting. I’m so glad I bought it and listened to it.
  • A new book in the series–Hawk–comes out the first part of October. It is is the 14th book in the series! So these books are alive and well!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • The 2014 New Author Reading Challenge hosted at the Literary Escapism blog.
  • 2014 Audiobook Challenge hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs.

Waiting on Wednesday: Hawk by Steven Brust

Waiting-on-Wednesday

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday occasionally. Breaking the Spine blog hosts Waiting on Wednesday–a time each week we can spotlight upcoming releases. Visit the blog to find out more information and to leave your link on her blog.

The book I’m excited about this week: Hawk by Steven Brust. This book is the 14th book in the Vlad Taltos series. This book comes out on October 7, 2014.

From Goodreads: Years ago, Vlad Taltos came to make his way as a human amidst the impossibly tall, fantastically long-lived natives of the Dragaeran Empire. He joined the Jhereg, the Dragaeran House (of which there are seventeen) that handles the Empire’s vices: gambling, rackets, organized crime. He became a professional assassin. He was good at it.

But that was then, before Vlad and the Jhereg became mortal enemies.

For years, Vlad has run from one end of the Empire to the other, avoiding the Jhereg assassins who pursue him. Now, finally, he’s back in the imperial capital where his family and friends are. He means to stay there this time. Whatever happens. And whatever it takes.

 

Here’s the thing though . . . I’ve only read the first book–Jhereg–in the series! And that first book was written in 1987. I really liked Jhereg and would like to read more in the series, but because some of the books were written awhile ago it’s hard to find some of the books. Most of the books aren’t available as e-books. Some of them are available as audiobooks (that’s how I “read” the first book–I got it on sale). It’s not an option to buy all the books as audiobooks so I’m still deciding how to read the books.

Do I search for all the earlier books before I read Hawk?

 

 

My fall reading list . . .

toptentuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week.

This week I get to talk about the books I’m most excited about for fall 2014. For me I focus on the new books coming out this fall and books from my TBR pile.

New fall books:

1.The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas–I read the first book in this young adult fantasy series and liked it a lot.

2. Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh–Mary Balogh is one of my favorite historical romance authors. She had a new book out in July which I read and loved so I’m excited she has another new book published in this series in October!

3. The Pyramids of London by Andrea K. Höst–I already talked about my excitement for this steampunk fantasy in a Waiting on Wednesday post a couple weeks ago.

4. The Future Falls by Tanya Huff–The third book in the Gale Women series. I’ve enjoyed the first two books so this is a no brainer!

5. Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews–A new series from Ilona Andrews!

6. Maybe this Christmas by Sarah Morgan–The third book in the O’Neil Brother series and this is a Christmas book, too.

7, Tainted Blood by M. L. Brennan–I’ve read the first two books in this series and they’re one of my favorite new series of the year.

Books from my TBR Pile:

8. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness–I read the first book in this series and loved it. I really need to read this book especially since the third book is already available.

9. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch–So many people have recommended this book to me. I need to read it!

10. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marilier–I’ve heard so many great things about this book and I’ve wanted to read it for quite awhile.

What books do you want to read this fall?

 

After Bloggiesta Goals Review

bloggiesta

I heard about Bloggiesta sometime last spring. This is the first time I’ve been able to participate and I’m excited to join in. Fall Bloggiesta runs from September 18 to 21. This is a chance to fine-tune my blog. I have a number of things I don’t always get to so I hope this will help.

The idea behind Bloggiesta is to spend four days working on perfecting your blog and connecting with other bloggers who are doing the same thing.

I didn’t complete too many of my To Do List, but I’m glad to get some of these things done. And I will have plenty to do in the future!

My To Do List:

  • Review my blog goals and resolutions I created last January
    • I have completed most of my goals for the year. I have a few ongoing till the end of the year and at least one I haven’t managed to do (writing posts two or three weeks ahead)
  • Figure out how to post Goodreads reviews and participate more with Goodreads
    • I didn’t get anything done on Goodreads. This will be a goal for the future.
  • Work on my labels/tags
    • What I actually worked on were my categories. I had changed some of my categories in the last couple of months. I went back and made sure all my posts have the same categories and organization.
  • Do at least two mini challenges
    • I didn’t get to do any mini challenges. 😦  However, I plan to work on two of the challenges this week–How to Use Flickr hosted by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun and Must Do Actions Before Hiring a Blog Designer hosted Stacy @ The Novel Life.
  • Think about asking for review copies of books and figure out how to request them if I decide to do this
    • Another item I didn’t have time for. I still haven’t decided whether to ask for review copies.
  • Consider adding a policy page
    • I also didn’t work on this. A policy page is tied in to whether I decide to ask for ARCs.
  • Decide what I want to change about my blog layout
    • I changed a few things on my blog layout–trying to decide what I want to do. Also working on one of the mini challenges will help me decide if I want to hire a blog designer.
  • Comment on other Bloggiesta partipants blogs
    • I did comment on a few participant blogs.
  • Participate in at least one Twitter chat
    • I participated briefly in one Twitter chat. I had planned to do more, but was gone during the other three.

 

Sunday Post: Sep 21

 

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The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

Home & blog

I’m getting back into my routine here at home. The weather is cooler–in the 70’s during the day and 50’s at night–which I love. I’m getting ready to cook more Fall type foods–squash, apples, roasts, bread.

My husband and I went into Washington, DC on Saturday and went to see King Lear at the Folger Shakespeare Theater. Afterword we went to a Spanish tapas restaurant for dinner. We didn’t have reservations so we ended up sitting at the bar and ordering our meal there. That worked out really well. We got great service and we sat down as soon as we came in. (It was good we did since lots of people were waiting.) It was a great night out together!

I’m doing Fall Bloggiesta (18-21 Sep) trying to make a few changes to my blog and do some administrative tasks I had put off. I’m trying to decide if I want a custom update to my blog and if I do what I would want. I changed the header this weekend, but I’m not sure I like it. There’s a mini challenge with Bloggiesta to figure out what to do before hiring a blog designer. I plan to work on that on Sunday and really think about what I want.

Since I’m concentrating on my blog I haven’t done as much reading this week–again.

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

What I read this week

Bones of the Fair by Andrea K. Höst

E-books (purchased or free)

None! (that’s a first I think)

Audiobooks (there was a sale at Audible!)

Blood Cross by Faith Hunter

Killing Floor by Lee Child

Gateway by Frederik Pohl

Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs

Mindstar Rising by Peter F. Hamilton

To Honor You Call Us by H. Paul Honsinger

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

Next Week

Home & blog

My husband is out-of-town on business next week so I’m hoping to get more reading and blogging done. Autumn officially arrives on Monday. It’s one of my favorite times of the year!

Posts

  • TTT — My fall to be read list . . .
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review: Jhereg by Steven Brust
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

TBR Review: Bones of the Fair by Andrea K. Host

bones-of-the-fairBones of the Fair

by Andrea K. Höst
Series: Darest, Book 2
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Andrea K. Höst, 2013
E-book, Purchased
324 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Darest stands on the verge of a Golden Age. The revival of the Rathen line and a blood price won from the Fair has drawn a flood of visitors eager to snatch their share of changing fortune – or at least one of the fabulous prizes offered at the Spring Festival.

Among those coaxed back to the once-failing kingdom is Gentian Calder, daughter of Shapers. Before she can decide whether to risk her life by staying, news arrives to put all other considerations aside. The Atlaran Ambassador and half the heirs of the western kingdoms have disappeared on Darest’s border.

Gentian agrees to join the Diamond Coeurveur and his apprentice in a rush to join the search. Will they find the missing? A plot against Darest? Or uncover older secrets, buried deep?

“Bones of the Fair” is set in the same world as “Champion of the Rose”. It can be read as a stand alone novel, but it’s recommended that you start with “Champion”.

It occurred to Gentian that some of the people here would have been sent in hopes of making sure they didn’t some back.

and

…it was all too much for Gentian, who choked into laughter.

“How very pragmatic you are, Lord Magister,” she managed. “You almost reconcile me to being trapped in Darest.” She paused, finding an unexpected core of truth in the words, and spoke unwarily when she added: “I didn’t think anyone could do that.”

Cheers

Map of Darest (link goes to Ms. Höst's blog)
Map of Darest (link goes to Ms. Höst’s blog)
  • I like this world. The world building is interesting and I hope there will be more books written in this series. Ms. Höst only scratches the surface of the stories which could be written.
  • This could be read as a stand alone as it states above, but you will have more understanding of the book if you read the first book–Champion of the Rose.
  • Told from two points of view–Aspen and Gentian.
  • Aspen and the Diamond Coeurveur are two characters from the first book who are main characters in this book.
  • Aspen plays the fool in both books. One who wants to live life to the fullest and get the most pleasure from life. He doesn’t take it seriously and hides behind that facade. He’s a hard character for me to like or respect during much of the book.
  • The sexuality in the book (mostly discovered through Aspen–his thoughts, words and actions–is interesting. There aren’t many taboos. I like that it isn’t the major focus of the book. It’s just the way this world is and doesn’t require much in the way of comment.
  • Most people overlook Gentian since she’s small, quiet and a “gardener,” but she’s also stubborn, refuses to give up and powerful in an unusual way. She also comes from a famous and quietly important family.
  • Many of the royals in this book are appropriately arrogant.
  • The Fair (Fae) don’t have much interest in humans. We find out a little more about them in this book.

Jeers

  • I had trouble keeping all the characters straight. So many princes and princesses!
  • I get to know Aspen better in this book, but the Diamond Coeurveur remains a mystery.

And a few thoughts . . .

  •  Ms. Höst’s always seems to write the kind of book I love to read. She really hits the mark with me–even this book which isn’t my favorite of her books.
  • The September challenge was to read a book recommended by someone else. This book wasn’t specifically recommended, but Li @ Me and My Books recommended Andrea K. Höst so I’m saying this book is part of that recommendation!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • Bones of the Fair is my TBR review for the month of August hosted by Wendy @ The Misadventures of Super Librarian. The review for this challenge posts on the third Wednesday each month.
  • Also qualifies as a TBR Pile Reading Challenge book.

I need to read more than one book from these authors . . .

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme which I take part in occasionally. It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

 

I’ve only read one book from these authors, but I really need to read more of their books (in no particular order & links are to Goodreads):

1. Kate Elliott–I read Cold Magic and loved it. Ms. Elliott has written quite a few books and I own at least one more by her.

2. Susanna Kearsley–I listened to The Winter Sea. One of my favorite books in 2014 and I know I own three or four more of hers.

3. James S. A. Corey–I liked Leviathan Wakes and would really like to read the second book–Caliban’s War.

4. Martha WellsThe Cloud Roads is one my favorite books in 2014 and I’m eager to read the second book in this series.

5. Django Wexler–I own at least one other book by Mr. Wexler besides John Golden: Freelance Debugger.

6. Marko KloosTerms of Enlistment is a favorite book of 2013 and the second book was published in early 2014.

7. Brandon Sanderson–I listened to The Emperor’s Soul and many other bloggers have recommended Elantris to me.

8. Debra Doyle and James D. MacDonald–I really like The Price of the Stars, a science fiction space opera book. There’s a second book in the series.

9. Deborah Harkness–I read A Discovery of Witches at the end of 2013 and love it. The whole trilogy is already published.

10. Julie Cross–Another book I love–Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross. I’d really like to read more of her books.

Do you have any of those one-book authors from whom you need to read more books?

Fall Bloggiesta–Sep 18-21

bloggiesta

I heard about Bloggiesta sometime last spring. This is the first time I’ve been able to participate and I’m excited to join in. Fall Bloggiesta runs from September 18 to 21. This is a chance to fine-tune my blog. I have a number of things I don’t always get to so I hope this will help.

The idea behind Bloggiesta is to spend four days working on perfecting your blog and connecting with other bloggers who are doing the same thing.

Check out the blog. They even have a list of to-do items to help get you started with your own to-do list.

My To Do List:

  • Review my blog goals and resolutions I created last January
  • Figure out how to post Goodreads reviews and participate more with Goodreads
  • Work on my labels/tags
  • Do at least two mini challenges
  • Think about asking for review copies of books and figure out how to request them if I decide to do this
  • Consider adding a policy page
  • Decide what I want to change about my blog layout
  • Comment on other Bloggiesta partipants blogs
  • Participate in at least one Twitter chat

The Bloggiesta site has a great list of past mini challenges from past Bloggiestas. The list of mini challenges for this Fall Bloggiesta will post sometime on Wednesday September 17.

Here’s the schedule of Twitter chats (#bloggiesta @bloggiesta):

  • Blogging and Life (Time Management): Thursday September 18 @ 2 p.m. Eastern
  • All Your Blogging Problems Solved: Friday September 19 @  6 p.m. Eastern
  • Book Blogging Basics: Saturday September 20 @ 11 a.m. Eastern
  • End of Event Wrap Up: Sunday September 21 @ 1 p.m. Eastern

Go to the Bloggiesta blog to sign-up!

Spread the word!

Sunday Post: Sep 14

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The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

Home & blog

Scorch
Scorch
Elf
Elf
Katzi
Katzi

 

 

 

 

 

 

I came home this week after being gone for six weeks! While I was gone I went to a family reunion and then helped one of my daughters with her new puppy. I had a great time, but it’s also great to be home. I missed my husband (and my cats)! My husband wouldn’t pose for a photo so I’m posting pics of the cats! Yes, I’m happy I’m home! (Though I’ve spent a lot of time sleeping–the puppy wore me out…LOL.) By the end of the week it cooled off and I’m hoping Autumn is here. I’m ready for cooler days and colored leaves.

Our son’s birthday is on Monday so we took him to lunch in DC on Saturday. It was great to see him.

I didn’t read much this week (I was sleeping!) I got a few things posted on the blog–tried a new meme…Waiting on Wednesday…that I plan to participate in sometimes.

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Bones of the Fair by Andrea K. Höst

What I read this week

Nothing, nada!

E-books 

the-demon-king
E-book from Library

festive-in-deathfree-agentthe-invisible-code

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobooks

longbourn
Audiobook from Library

on-what-groundsa-share-in-death

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Week

Home & blog

I have lots of family and friends who have birthdays in the next couple of weeks so I need to make birthday cards for them. I want to read some more and listen to my audiobook from the library.

Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review: Jhereg by Steven Brust
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?