Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Monday seems to come around faster and faster, doesn't it?

Your meme is hosted here:

I hope everyone had a happy Christmas, and that there was much reading done :-)

For myself, I finished Guardian of the West by David Eddings, and Hercule Poirot's Christmas, by Agatha Christie. Both re-reads, but both very enjoyable.

On the slate this week we have Fierce September, by Fleur Beale. It's the sequel to Juno of Taris and I'm reading it now because it's due back at the library on January 1. Good stuff so far.

Also King of the Murgos, book 2 of the Mallorean; The Mists of Avalon, which is  my half-assed online book club's read for December/January; Quillblade by Ben Chandler; The Two Towers (I'm getting bloody-minded about finishing LOTR again - lol) and The Fall, by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, which is my break time at work read. :-)

Obviously this will take longer than a week, but that's what my night stand looks like. How's yours this week?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

More challenges? Don't mind if I do ...

.... er. But at least one of them is mine? That counts, right?

Anyway. First up is the Haruki Murakami challenge, hosted here:

I've never read Murakami, and I've opted for the easiest level: one book. I think I'm co-reading The Wind-up Bird Chronicle with Care from - in June, I believe. :-)

My own challenge is a Kiwi YA challenge, which I'm hosting over here: Sign-ups are open throughout 2011, and the challenge runs all year. So, you know ... *gently nudges readers to the challenge*. It's going to be a good one, I hope.

I'm also still hosting the NZ Book mini-challenge in March, which will look exactly like this again: so if you can't commit to a year; you could read a Kiwi novel in March, right?  :DDDDDDDD

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday swap

Edited and corrected!

My holiday swap person was the lovely Heather from For some reason, I missed the card she sent. AND the lovely, lovely "bookworms" made out of yarn that Heather made for me.

I'm so sorry, Heather - I can't believe I missed that. I LOVE the parcel! <3

I got a collection of bookmarks (I love getting bookmarks, because I lose them so easily!) and two books - Mistress of the Art of Death, which I've been wanting to read for a while, and Mr Rosenblaum Dreams in English, which was one of Heather's favourite reads of the year, so I'm excited for both of them!

Thank you Heather at - I love everything!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Care is Awesome

Back in the dim dark recesses of 2009, I hosted a mini-challenge, based around all things Kiwi.

Rashly, forgetting that I have no organisational skills whatsoever, I said I'd send out jaffas (chocolate orange goodness) to participants. And then ... I didn't. And I still haven't, and I feel bad about it.

Anyways. Fast forward a bit, and Care from said she'd send me some altoids. I love them, but you can't get them here. And ... I failed to send jaffas. Consistently. For a year.

And because Care is Awesome, and a better person than me, she sent me the altoids anyway. And some kind of teeny tiny wafers that I've never even SEEN before, and a couple of other lovely goodies. Thank you, Care - you really are awesome. :D :D :D

Behold, also, her superior wrapping skills:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Your meme is hosted here:

I had a reasonably productive week. Well, weekend. Tanabata of and I had a bit of an informal mini readathon on twitter, where we spent yesterday reading as much as possible within a 12-hour period. I finished The Wench is Dead by Colin Dexter, and Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie.

Before that, on Saturday, I finished By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham. Two days, three books. Pretty good, for me.

On the pile this week, I still have The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope, which I haven't picked up in a while, but I'm determined to finish; In Cold Blood by Truman Capote; Guardians of the West by David Eddings (#teamsilk); uh ... The Two Towers (still, yes, I know) and Quillblade by Ben Chandler. Oh! And The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

That's way more than I can read in a week, but that's what my nightstand looks like ;)

Happy reading!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading?

So I still have The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote on the pile, but I've been getting a little bogged down with them both lately, and I had to pull out of the Trollope Classics Circuit tour, which I felt badly about, but couldn't finish it in time.

I am enjoying both books, but I need a small break. So over the weekend I picked up Juno of Taris by Fleur Beale, and enjoyed it enough to stay up until 3am reading, and finished it. :-)

Also on the pile is The Two Towers (yes, still - hush), and Quillblade by Ben Chandler.

Happy reading!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

When I was very young ...

... I got a "working" telephone for Christmas. I was no more than three or four, and it was part of Santa's sack that got left at the end of our beds sometime during the night.

It's probably my first Christmas memory, and it's so vivid because I remember playing with the phone - that had a real ringtone! - at an insanely early hour of the day.

It got me thinking - as I frantically turned topics for this post over in my head - what Patrick's first Christmas memory will be. Mine was of playing with what was to become a much-loved toy (I thought that phone was the best thing ever - because it rang like a real phone) that had been delivered to me by the jolly old man from the North Pole.

Christmas - for me - is a jumble of impressions mostly: going with my Dad to choose presents for my mother and my sister; decorating the tree with the same ornaments year after year; going to midnight mass and having milo and cheese sandwiches afterwards; arguing over board games or card games with my brothers and sisters; turkey dinners in the middle of the afternoon and paper hats askew as the day wore on.

So I do treasure that first, clear memory, of playing with that toy in the middle of the night that was pretty much guaranteed to wake up my sisters, but it was just so magical and new, I couldn't help myself. And now that Patrick's three, I'm hoping that I (and Santa of course) can impart a little bit of that magic to him.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Shall Wear Midnight

I Shall Wear Midnight is the fourth book by Mr Sir Terry Pratchett featuring young witch Tiffany Aching.

I'm still slowly but surely working my way through the Discworld novels, and before this one, I hadn't encountered Miss Aching before, but I will certainly be looking up the rest of the novels featuring the redoubtable young witch.

I Shall Wear Midnight is set on the Chalk, and Tiffany is the resident witch for the area. She deals with common ailments, illnesses - and the Wee Free Men - the Nac Mac Feegle - as best as she can. Because she's the witch.

After the death of the old Baron - which Tiffany finds herself accused of causing - she travels to Ankh-Morpork to bring back the new Baron - an old childhood friend.

Things for Tiffany are relatively straightforward on the Chalk - she's the witch, which means she has a certain position to maintain.

However, something is coming for the witches ...

Mr Sir Terry Pratchett has a very deft touch, and he weaves together elements like the sheer absurdity of the Nac Mac Feegle and the darker elements so well that there's nothing jarring in it at all. Tiffany is a wonderfully realised character, and now I need to seek out the rest of her books.

10/10 Could not be improved on, even by angel dust and a basket of kittens