What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
Most recently, hmm… Etiquette & Espionage (Gail Carriger). I’d been meaning to read it for a while, since I thought Soulless was fun, and yesterday proved the perfct opportunity for it. I actually read it in one sitting, no pauses at all, which was surprising. It wasn’t earth shatteringly good or something, but it was fun.

What are you currently reading?
H is for Hawk (Helen Macdonald), which is a quite moving work on grief, training a hawk, and interaction with a historical figure. Bonus points for that figure being T.H. White, given that he wrote The Once and Future King, and I’ve done some academic work on that (albeit as little as I could get away with).

What are you planning to read next?
I actually still feel like reading familiar stuff, so I’m planning on sticking my head back between the covers of Whose Body? (Dorothy L. Sayers). I did reread that a year or so ago without going on to reread the rest of the series, but I want to do my Lord Peter spree right, and that means starting at the beginning. Though I probably will miss out the Jill Paton Walsh stuff: I just don’t feel that she does justice to either herself or Sayers, since I’ve enjoyed her own original work much more than her work for the Sayers estate.

What are you reading Wednesday

I keep forgetting to post this lately — which is odd, since normally I love my routines. Still, I had it on my to do list for today, so fortunately, I didn’t forget!

What have you recently finished reading?
Heart’s Blood, by Juliet Marillier. Review goes up in the morning, I think; this was a reread, and I enjoyed it a lot. Though maybe not as much as I did the first time: some things were far too obvious on a reread, and I already predicted them the first time round.

What are you currently reading?
I’ve picked The Just City, by Jo Walton, back up. I stalled because I just felt like reading old familiar stuff (including Walton’s Tooth and Claw!) but I definitely want to hurry up and finish this. I’m also reading The Spirit Thief, by Rachel Aaron, which is light and fun. Comparisons to Locke Lamora and Vlad Taltos are quite unfair, given the lightness of it, though I can’t help but think of them… Non-fiction-wise, I’m also partway through Crow Country (Mark Cocker), which is kind of fascinating, not least because I didn’t know there was so much fascination to be found in the Corvid family, and also The Language Wars (Henry Hitchings), which is a little bit dry but still interesting.

What will you read next?
Probably more of the Rachel Aaron books. After that, maybe I’ll finally get round to The Girl with All the Gifts (M.R. Carey), or maybe I’ll just reread The Goblin Emperor… Or start on something else by Sarah Monette.

What are you reading Wednesday

What are you currently reading?
If Walls Could Talk (Lucy Worsley) for non-fiction, which is pretty fun for light reading.

For fiction: Fever (Mary Beth Keane), which I started reading last week, read half of, and then haven’t picked up since for no apparent reason. It’s interesting, though, because it tries to take the perspective of Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary. I keep meaning to look up some of the details to see how much of it is accurate and how much total fiction. Also The Hollow Hills (Mary Stewart), and The Just City (Jo Walton), but work seems to be coming in sufficient profusion to stop me actually finishing anything at the moment.

What have you recently finished reading?
The Eerie Silence and The Goldilocks Enigma (Paul Davies). He loses me a bit when he goes into string theory and the like, and I know that some smaller aspects are gonna be out of date since it was written before the Large Hadron Collider was up and running, but for the most part I hung in there. The Eerie Silence leaves me very sceptical about the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence, but then The Goldilocks Enigma seemed more positive again… Odd, from the same author!

What will you read next?
I agreed to do a buddy read of The Goblin Emperor (Katherine Addison), this weekend; other than that, I’m not looking beyond the stack of half-read books at my bedside!

What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
Beauty and Chalice by Robin McKinley, both rereads. I love those books so much. It’s funny to think that I didn’t like Chalice thaaaat much the first time I read it, but it stayed on my mind and now I think it’s probably earned the title of “Comfort Read.”

What are you currently reading?
A huge mess, as usual, but mainly at the moment I’m reading Rose Daughter, Robin McKinley’s other Beauty and the Beast retelling, and Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park — I can’t believe I’ve never read Jurassic Park before. It’s actually better than I was led to believe? And the science is none too bad considering when it was written.

What will you read next?
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart, probably, and then The Bone People, by Keri Hulme. I’ve got both of them out of the library here, so I need to get on with it. I need to read some of my partner’s comics, too — Thor, Winter Soldier, Loki: Agent of Asgard.

What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
The Younger Gods (Michael R. Underwood). I wasn’t really impressed, sadly. Before that I read Venomoid (J.A. Kossler), which was similarly unimpressive. Both books for review, alas.

What are you currently reading?
Fair Game (Josh Lanyon), in preparation for reading the sequel for review. I’m at least sure that that’s going to be fun; Josh Lanyon is like my brain’s cheesecake. I’m also reading The Old Ways (Robert Macfarlane), because the title makes me think of The Dark is Rising (Susan Cooper), and Galapagos (Kurt Vonnegut), because that’s on my list of 101 sci-fi books.

What will you read next?
ARC-wise, I need to catch up with the Flavia de Luce books and review the most recent, so that’ll probably be soon. New book-wise, either Clariel (Garth Nix) or Maplecroft (Cherie Priest), because I’m excited about both. Library-wise, probably The Bone People (Keri Hulme).

My life is complicated, y’all.

What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
FF: Fantastic Faux, by Matt Fraction. Which is heavily linked to the Fantastic Four title in the Marvel Now lineup, which I haven’t read, so made very little sense. On the other hand, Fraction deals very deftly with a transgendered character, making it so normal and the transition so well done that it barely registers as a big issue at all.

And you’ve gotta love the line “All of you pale before our hetero-normative cisgendered classification of family!”

What are you currently reading?
The Fellowship of the Ring. Oh, Tolkien. Oh, Frodo.

The Enchantment Emporium (Tanya Huff). Can’t remember if I mentioned this last week, but so far it’s very fun. I do have to switch my brain onto the Mary Stewart/Georgette Heyer cousin-marrying-is-okay frequency, but I do have that frequency, so that works. Casually queer, all kinds of family stuff, interesting magic.

What will you read next?
Well, Tolkien aside, I’m gonna dig back into We Are Here (Michael Marshall Smith) and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (Thomas Sweterlitsch), since I’m halfway through both and certainly owe a review for the latter.

Reading Habits

I’m not sure where I picked this up from, but it seemed like fun, and touched on some stuff I’ve never thought to mention before. So, another meme!

(1) Do you have a certain place for reading at home?
Mostly, I flop down on my bed for it when I’m with my grandmother. I used to have all sorts of hidey-holes where I’d go to read, but I’m bigger now and can’t fit into them so well, or Grandma’s filled them with boxes or junk or something. When I’m at home, I generally read at my desk with my feet on something, or up in my bunk bed. If I’m feeling particularly bleh, I make myself a blanket fort by hanging blankets down the sides of my bunk bed and curling up on the sofa underneath.

(2) Do you use a bookmark or a random piece of paper?
Mostly bookmarks. A random piece of paper may happen if I can’t find one, but I don’t really have a good excuse for that since I have a pile of about fifty bookmarks. Wherever I go, I try and pick up some bookmarks if they’ve got any free or cheap ones. I have some very nice ones from the Bodleian library shop.

(3) Can you just stop reading or does it need to be at the end of a chapter or a certain number of pages?
I have rules about this shit. It always has to be at the end of a page or, if the paragraph goes onto the next page, the end of that paragraph. I much prefer to stop at paragraph breaks or, even better, the end of even-numbered chapters. I remember when I was a kid, I didn’t like finishing at even the end of a chapter if the last sentence was dialogue.

(4) Do you eat or drink while reading?
Yep. Snacks, water, pop — it sometimes depends, though. If I’m reading something by a writer who is really good with the sound of words, I don’t eat/drink while reading so that I can whisper the words along. I’m a synaesthete, so the words have a ‘taste’, and for writers like Tolkien, Le Guin or Richard Fortey, that’s a part of the experience I wouldn’t want to miss. I don’t eat at mealtimes; Dad trained me firmly out of that.

(5) Do you read one book at a time or several at once?
Many, many at once. I shouldn’t, in that I inevitably end up neglecting something, but I like to have different things on the go for different moods and situations. I don’t read stuff by the fine prose writers in public, because I’m embarrassed about the fact that I want to whisper them. But seriously, ‘swept’ and ‘stepped’ and ‘crept’, or pretty much anything Tolkien ever wrote, they have such a satisfying mouth-feel and taste: I don’t really get why other people find that concept so strange.

(6) Do you read out loud or silently in your head?
Oh, I didn’t notice this question in advance! Silently, mostly, but with fine prose, in a whisper. I don’t like reading aloud to someone else, though. That’s when I start stammering and tripping over the words, which is not fun for anyone involved.

(7) Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?
I don’t mind spoilers, so yes, sometimes I do. Especially in comics, I find. I flick through the book, stop at a pretty page, and end up reading quite a bit to try and figure out what’s going on. Whoops. Obviously, I don’t end up doing this with ebooks, because it’s much harder to skip ahead. And I would never, ever skip the section with Tom Bombadil, and I don’t care what everyone has to say about that.

(8) Breaking the spine or keeping it new?
Keeping it new. And therefore not lending it to my mother.

(9) Do you write in your books?
Neveeeer.

(10) What are you currently reading?
Oh, cripes. The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff, primarily. And also We Are Here by Michael Marshall Smith. And… and… it’s a long list, let’s just leave it at that.

Tagging: 
As usual, whoever wants to!

What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
Georgette Heyer’s Beauvallet, which I still need to review. Fun, but definitely not my favourite of Heyer’s so far, and I don’t like Beauvallet and his grabby hands half as much as I think I’m meant to. Different times, different sensibilities, I know, but still. Before that, Peas & Queues by Sandi Toksvig, review upcoming — generally pretty fun.

What are you currently reading?
As usual, too much. There’s A Game of Thrones, of course, and various other things I’ve mentioned in previous weeks, plus Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn, which is about mindfulness meditation and is helpful so far, though I don’t know if I’d give it to a beginner, and I obviously don’t agree with everything/find everything useful.

What are you going to read next?
Nary the faintest idea, really. I’m actually feeling tempted to read the Harry Potter books and actually finish the series — I only ever got up to The Goblet of Fire — but I’m not sure if it’s been long enough since a) everyone wanted to force it on me and b) I studied it at college and university several years in a row. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to see the pure genius that other people see, but it would be good if I could just enjoy the books for what they are.

I’m also contemplating closing my eyes and pointing, and reading whatever book is in line with my pointy finger. Just for the sheer unpredictability of it.

What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
The Hidden Landscape (Richard Fortey), which is gorgeous even though it’s about geology, a subject I care very little about. I think he could actually make me interested in gardening, a subject which I often point out to Grandma I know less than nothing about except I guess I know plant biology.

What are you currently reading?
I’m in a bit of a slump, actually, which makes all my ARCs and review copies a little awkward. Still, I’ve got Dead Harvest (Chris F. Holm) on the go as an audiobook, and Manon Lescaut (Abbé Prévost) has been loaded onto my ereader ready for a class. I think I’m 10% of the way through that? So yeah, not too bad, though I know the plot basically because of the reference in Clouds of Witness (Dorothy L. Sayers).

Oh, there is also We Are Here (Michael Marshall), which I’m enjoying in a slowly-unravelling sort of way. I like Michael Marshall (Smith)’s writing in general, so. There’s also Black Unicorn and Book of Skulls, still, which I probably mentioned last week, and The Toll-Gate (Georgette Heyer). As you can see, I’m not taking the reading slump lying down…

What will you read next?
For one of my Coursera classes, I need to reread Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), so that’s most likely what I’ll do. I also have a biography of the Brontes out of the library, so maybe I’ll read that too.

What are you reading Wednesday

What have you recently finished reading?
The Selfish Genius (Fern Elsdon-Baker). It critiques Richard Dawkins from the point of view of another scientist who is also an atheist, which makes it quite interesting — the title is meant to be just a glib reference rather than a particularly accusation. I need to write a review of this, but I’m going to mull it over a bit longer first.

What are you currently reading?
As usual, way too much. I most recently picked up We Are Here, a thriller by Michael Marshall; I’ve read some of his SF before, but not his thrillers. So far, I’m enjoying the writing style, but I don’t know how much I’m going to like the thing as a whole.

There’s also Black Unicorn (Tanith Lee), which is, shockingly, my first Tanith Lee read. I’m intrigued so far. It’s quite short, so no doubt I’ll finish it soon.

What will you read next?
Well, I got a book on photosynthesis and its importance for/impact on our world today — Eating the Sun (Oliver Morton) — which, along with my books on genetics, prompted my dad to suggest I must be planning to create Groot and Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy. So just for that, I think that might be up next.