Friday, 28 April 2017

Dewey's readathon, plus starting meme

I only just signed up today, so my snack and books pile are both rather last-minute. I'm going out tonight, and readathon starts at midnight my time, so I won't be there for the early part of the festivities.

I am, however, part of #TeamANZ - a group of Aussie and NZ books bloggers - you can find the others here: http://bronasbooks.blogspot.co.nz/2017/04/deweys-readathon-april-2017.html - who will be around on the twitter tomorrow afternoon when our northern hemisphere readers might be a bit quieter.

I've put a pic on instagram, and here it is in all its glory, my last-minute stack of readathon possibles and snacks:

The book stack possibles are: A Feast for Crows by G R R Martin, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (this would be a re-read but it's the book of my soul), Wizards and Glass by Stephen King, The Paladin Caper by Patrick Weekes, The Stolen Throne by David Gaider and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

The snacks are salt and vinegar chips, toffee milk chocolate by Whitaker's and Sprite - lol. 

My plan is to (hopefully) set aside a few reading hours tomorrow. I'm only going to pick one book from the stack, and I think it'll depend on what I'm feeling like.

Meanwhile, here's the starting meme that kicks off each readathon:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
New Zealand. :) Specifically my living room. Possibly outside for a bit if it's sunny.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I'm not sure actually, but I have Wizards and Glass by Stephen King, and The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weekes, so I might dive in to one of those.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Whittaker's toffee milk chocolate... om nom

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Um. At this point, I'm not sure what people don't know about me - lol.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? Hopefully get a bit more reading done ...

Most of these answers are the same as last time - lol.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Sunday Post 61; It's Monday, What are you reading? 46


The Sunday Post is a chance for a chat and a catch-up with other bloggers, and is hosted by Kimba, here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here: http://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Well, it's been a couple of weeks. Oops. I have a quiet Sunday afternoon ahead of me, so I'm listening to Hamilton and painting my nails and I thought "hey, I could do a blog post." So here I am :)

Uhm. I've mostly been doing coursework and studying, to be honest. And listening to Hamilton a lot. We got our first tests back for Intro to Law, last week, which I did well on. I have two assessments due this week, but I'll just have to wait and see how those go.

I'm reading on and off but my reading has been very patchy. I'm picking away at Ten Thousand Pieces of You, still; and Lords and Ladies. I'm also reading Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver on my ibooks, and that's pretty good. I keep trying to get into some kind of regular routine and then completely failing - lol.

I did treat myself to a couple of games on Steam - Herald, a narrative type game that follows the fortunes of a young sailor in a kind of alternate world 19th century; and Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, which is more my speed - masks and conspiracies and worldbuilding. Though I've reached a point where I keep dying - oops.

What else. Coursework. Games. Reading. Family things. That's ... about it? I do want to try and get a couple of posts up this week - book reviews and an awesome ladies post, I just need to do the research.

What about you? What are you reading? How's your week?

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Sunday Post 60; It's Monday! What are you reading? 45


The Sunday Post is a chance for a chat and catch-up with other bloggers. It’s hosted by Kimba, here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is hosted by Kathryn, here: http://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

I … have not blogged at all. I need to be a bit more organized than this. Anyway.

Study continues, and our first assignments are looming, so we’re getting into deadlines and suchlike. I’m not worried yet, but I’m sure the worry is just around the corner.

I have some paperwork to deal with this week as well as I forgot to declare income to Winz, which I should have done. That’s on me, and I need to call them and sort out repayments. I’m not looking forward to it because bureaucracy, but needs must.

What else. I’m still trying to find a good rhythm for studying outside of class. I know what I want to do, and we have a kind of informal study group going, but sometimes I just want to bury myself at the library with my books. I need to strike that balance. I’ve also picked up a few hours of peer tutoring work with one of the other students in my course. It’s only six hours and it doesn’t pay much, but the experience will be good for me.

Outside of that … did I say that I bought the Dragon Age colouring book? Because I totally did. It’s awesome but so far I’ve been too intimidated to start on any of the pictures – lol. I need to practice my shading and skin tones. I’m not the world’s best or most patient colouring-in person, but I want to make these look pretty.

As for reading, I’m still working on Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray. I’ve also been reading Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell – the third novel in their M/M Cyberlove series. I’m really enjoying it – it’s a fast read and it’s an ebook so I can just pick up my ipad and zoom away.

I also have Lords and Ladies by Mr Sir Terry Pratchett on the go. I started it on Friday and I’m not very far in, but it is Mr Sir Terry Pratchett.

Other than that, not a lot is going on. Spawn has discovered Geronimo Stilton, and is enjoying those books. There seems to be approximately 784 books in the series so far, so they should keep him going for a bit.


What about you? How’s your week? What are you reading?

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Sunday post 59; it's Monday! What are you reading? 44


The Sunday Post is a chance for a chat and a catch-up with other bloggers. It’s hosted by Kimba, here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Is hosted by Kathryn, here: http://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Let’s see …. I’m settling in okay to my course, I think. Assignments are looming already, so this week will be about studying and time management so I don’t end up doing them at the last minute – something that has never worked for me. I may have picked up some work as a peer tutor, which is only a few hours but I’d get paid for it, so that’s something possibly promising. (I’m not sure yet.)

There’s only about a dozen of us on the course I’m taking, which is good, and so we’re working on doing a study group at least once a week to exchange ideas on upcoming assignments and offer support, etc.

Last week was a bit more lively than I’m used to as well. I went to quiz night on Wednesday night with my team, and we came fourth, which wasn’t bad. On Friday night I ended up taking spawn to  a live wrestling show. There’s a nascent professional league starting up down here and the brother of one of my classmates is a wrestler, so she got us free tickets. I used to watch a lot of WWE back in the day, and this is structured a lot like that. It was a lot of fun. It ran a little long, and there were kids at the back of the room who were just yelling the whole time, but other than that it was a good night out, and spawn had a great time.

On Saturday, spawn and I went into town and went to Sing, which was a very cute movie. We also had Subway, went to the library and poked around the shops. By the time we got home I was knackered, so begged off my regular stitch and watch night with my friend. I watched TV and played games on my iPad instead – lol.

I haven’t done a lot of reading, though I’m working through Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray. I loved One Thousand Pieces of You, and this is good too, though there’s a bit of a love triangle … theme? Kind of that I don’t like. Other than that, the story is good, and it’s alternate universes, which I love.

I’m also eyeing Orlando, as the director of that film Sally Potter is one of my awesome ladies, and I want to read the book before diving into the movie. I also need to get into my Back to the Classics books, so possibly The Count of Monte Cristo or Howard’s End might be on the immediate to-read list as well.

I think that’s all. I’m still adjusting to being out and about and doing (well, going to classes and such) and so I’m not doing much at night beyond watching TV which is about all I feel capable of.


What about you? How’s your week? What are you reading?

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Sunday post 58; It's Monday! What are you reading? 43


The Sunday Post is a chance for a chat and catch-up with other bloggers to find out what's been going on in their world during the past week or so. It's hosted by Kimba, right here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ It's Monday! What are you reading? Is now hosted by Kathryn, here: http://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Let's see .... I'm now officially a full-time student - until June, anyway. The course runs for 32 weeks. After that - at this stage I don't know. At this stage I'll be happy to get through the course in one piece - lol. Week one was all right. All of my classes are quite small, and there's a range of ages and backgrounds among us, which is a good thing. I think the most I had in one class was something like nine people. I imagine we're all going to get to know each other pretty well by the end of it.

I haven't been doing a lot of reading this past week. I did read Enjoy the Dance by Heidi Cullinan, the sequel to Dance With Me. It was set during the time the Marriage Equality bill came into law. Its background is intense - there's that, and also one of the main character's parents are undocumented immigrants, and there's issues of childcare and homophobia and ... and despite all that, it's a really sweet, optimistic book about love.  I'll review that one this week,  hopefully.

I'm struggling with The Summer Queen - not because it isn't good, or interesting, but it's the wrong time for me to be reading it. I worked out that I like reading historical fiction when I'm on holiday. Not bodice-rippers, but things like this and Wolf Hall, and The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough. I started the latter on holiday with my parents one year, and the idea of it has stuck with me. I think because I like having time to dive into those big, complex novels. So The Summer Queen will go back to the library for now and I might give it a whirl in April, when I have a two-week semester break.

This does mean that I'm sort of between books. I'm flirting with Ten Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray - I really dug One Thousand Skies Above You and it's about my brain-speed right now, but I'll see.  I should also dive into a classic for the Back to the Classics challenge - handily I've downloaded several on to my ipad, as they tend to be cheap or free on iBooks. Other than that ... textbooks I guess - lol

What else. I think that's all? I'm considering doing a "Nevertheless, she resisted" cross-stitch - someone I follow on instagram designed one and put it on Craftsy as a freebie. That's a maybe though. I still want to try and get Circe finished this year, and 2017 is already racing away from me!

I've also reached my first modern era awesome lady - Sally Potter, who directed Orlando. I'm hoping to read the book and watch the film before I do the post, so that's possibly at least a couple of weeks away.

How about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Friday, 17 February 2017

Review - Slim to None

Abbie is the food critic for the New York Sentinel newspaper. Or she was – until her photo is splashed across the front page of a rival newspaper, and Abbie finds herself shuffled sideways at her job, and it would seem, in her life as well.

Her husband, William, thinks this is the ideal time to start talking about babies, her best friend Jess is having an affair, and Abbie's homeless friend George isn't who he seems, either.

Abbie has to go on a diet in order to keep her job, which she does, sort of. Well.

I don't know. I mean, I'm in two minds about Slim to None.

There was a lot about it that I liked. The recipes that intersperse the text are a nice touch, and Abbie – when she's not distracted by food metaphors – is interesting. But ... it's a very slight book (excuse the pun).

The food metaphors get distracting – there seems to be at least three on every page, which, in my opinion, detracted from the overall story and from Abbie's internal struggles.

Abbie kind of rambles about everywhere, and there are dropped threads that are just never picked up. Also some of the editing was sloppy, which is always annoying.


It was pleasant enough? I guess? By which I mean "I liked enough to finish it but beyond that ... eh."

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The awesome ladies project 4 - Lady Xu Mu of China

Awesome lady number four is Lady Xu Mu, who lived in China, circa 7th century BC.

She was the first recorded female poet in Chinese history.
According to her Wikipedia article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Xu_Mu she was married to Duke Mu of Xu, though when her homestate of Wey was invaded in 660BC by the Northern Di barbarians, she attempted to return and call for help from Wey's neighbouring states on the way.

Unfortunately, Mu's courtiers caught up with her on the road and returned her to Xu. Her appeals for help succeeded, however and the state of Qi came to Wey's aid.

Lady Xu Mu's highly acclaimed poems Bamboo Pole and Spring Water expressed her longing for her home state, and her most famous work Speeding Chariot (or Chariot Speeding – I've seen it written both ways on different websites) offers a scathing attack on beaurocracy. This is from the website article http://www.colorq.org/Articles/article.aspx?d=asianwomen&x=xumu

This article http://history.cultural-china.com/en/48History12830.html offers more insight into Lady Xu Mu's life

It took me a bit of digging around, but I finally found English translations of some of Lady Xu Mu's poetry, here: https://rebelwomenembroidery.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/xu-mu-%E8%AE%B8%E7%A9%86%E5%A4%AB%E4%BA%BA-b-690-bce-kingdom-of-wei-china/


Lady Xu Mu was a creative and clever force who gave her people hope when they needed it most, and expressed herself through some very moving poetry.

We're moving forward in history for the next one, as it's film-makers. Up first is Sally Potter, and her film adaptation of Virginia Woolfe's novel, Orlando.