Friday, August 17, 2018

A Hard Day's Knight

Title: A Hard Day's Knight

Author: Simon R. Green

Series: Nightside, Bk 11

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101475232

Length: 304 pages

Obtained: Library OverDrive ebook copy

Comments:

The Nightside and Arthur, Camelot, and the Knights of the Round Table - or in this case, the London Knights.

The series is coming to a close and you can feel it in this book.  Threads that have been lingering are being tied up, and the Nightside is in a strange place between staying the same and changing, complete with the beginning stages of a major war.  Of course, that isn't unusual for the Nightside.  John has already been through two other wars recently.

I only read one book prior to this one recently to remind me of what is going on, so you probably could just jump in.  However, I would definitely recommend starting from the beginning of the series so you can both watch John's growth and get a good feel for the Nightside and all its characters.  I'm both excited and dreading the next, and final, book of this series - The Bride Wore Black Leather.

Monday, August 6, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 8/6/2018

Hosted by: Book Date

My birthday is coming in a little under a month.  Since I am now becoming more regular in my blogging, I want to celebrate it on here.  I have been focused on library and digital books lately, but I have some print books that need attention.  I've decided to have a giveaway once a week up through my birthday.  I will discuss this further at the end of this post.

This week I finished reading:


The Door to the Lost by Jaleigh Johnson  - [My post

Tricks for Free (InCryptid, Bk 7) by Seanan McGuire - [My post


Bird, Bath, and Beyond (Agent to the Paws Mystery, Bk 2) by E. J. Copperman - [My post

I'm currently reading:

The lighting is horrible in this image - I took this without flash to better show the screens.  The one in the back is the audio of Moby Dick.
In audio (on CD), I've been listening to Moby Dick by Herman Melville (read by Paul Boehmer).  Captain Ahab has told his crew about the great white whale they seek.  The top harpooners have identified his whale as Moby Dick.  I think I may need to switch to the print for a bit to get through this next part.

A Hard Day's Knight (Nightside, Bk 11) by Simon R. Green (library OverDrive ebook) - I'm enjoying this so far.  John has fought off a great many, but there is an upcoming elf civil war to concern himself with.

Eye of the Shoal : a Fish-watcher's Guide to Life, the Ocean and Everything by Helen Scales (library hardcover) - I didn't get any further with this title this week.

The Story Chapter 3 "Joseph: From Slave to Deputy Pharaoh" read by Michael Blain-Rozgay and Allison Moffett - These are eAudio through the library's Hoopla subscription.  I've barely started thsi chapter.

Up next:


The Saturday Morning Murder (Michael Ohayon, Bk 1) by Batya Gur
The Silk Train Murder (Kondike Era Mystery, Bk 1) by Sharon Rowse
Bannerless (Bannerless, Bk 1) by Carrie Vaughn
Cat About Town (Cat Cafe Mystery, Bk 1) by Cate Conte
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (book discussion book)
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi; Translated by Jonathan Wright
Lady Elect by Likita Lynnette Nichols
The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands, #1) by Jonathan French
Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin; illustrated by Giovanni Rigano
The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and our Health—and a Vision for Change by Annie Leonard
Happy Starts at Home by Rebecca West
The Locksmith's Daughter by Karen Brooks
Venom in the Veins (Elemental, Bk 17) by Jennifer Estep
Nightbooks by J. A. White
The Lost Chapters: Finding Recovery and Renewal One Book at a Time by Leslie Schwartz
Bringing back Our Freshwater Lakes by Lisa J. Amstutz

Giveaway

For this first birthday celebration giveaway, I will be offering Hot Mess by Emily Belden.  I heard Emily speak at a romance panel in June.  According to Emily, the book has a foodie touch and addresses addiction issues and healthy/unhealthy relationships.  The book was purchased new and signed by the author.  It is unread (though it should be once read by the time I ship it).  Enter below.  Winner must respond to my contact email within 24 hours.  This is an international giveaway.  All entrants welcome!



Bird, Bath, and Beyond

Title: Bird, Bath, and Beyond

Author: E. J. Copperman aka Jeffrey Cohen

Publisher: Minotaur

Series: Agent to the Paws Mystery, Bk 2

ISBN: 9781250084293

Length: 304 pages

Obtained: Download from Edelweiss+

Comments:

This is the second whitelisted Macmillan review title that I've downloaded through Edelweiss+.  I had to read the first book in the series, Dog Dish of Doom before I could read this one (you can find my post for that here).  In general, there is something about E. J. Copperman's characters that really appeals to me.

In this story, Kay is representing a parrot for a popular zombie television series.  She encounters entirely different cops this time, which makes sense considering the murders in both books have taken place in New York.  Kay is again reluctant to be pulled into an investigation, but her client was the only witness.  While the cop this time certainly does NOT ask for her assistance, Kay feels she needs to help and poke around for other reasons.  I don't want to say too much and give anything away, so I'll leave it at that. 

This one's mystery is a bit more convoluted and maybe even a little ridiculous, but I still enjoyed it.  I enjoy the characters, I enjoy the humor, and I especially enjoy the combination that comes out in Kay's narration of the story.

I look forward to whatever the third book may be, and I hope to read some more of E. J. Copperman/Jeff Cohen's other work in the meantime.

The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings

Title: The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings

Author: Sarah Prineas

Publisher: Harper

Series: ? It's hard to say if this is a series or standalone.

ISBN: 9780062665584

Length: 295 pages

Obtained: Library hardcover copy

Comments:

I haven't read anything by Sarah Prineas previously, so I don't know how this story compares, but I love finding books with book and/or librarian related themes, and this has both.

Among my first impressions is that Alex may be a "librarian" and love books, but he certainly isn't an archivist, genealogist, or historian, as he seemingly found no interest or use of documents that I know would have been useful for such purposes. 

But I'm getting off track.  Alex has run from home after arguing with his family.  He is certain, after having read all the books in his father's locked up library, that he is a librarian, not a warrior s trained.  This is in a world/time when all libraries have been locked up - Alex believes because books are dangerous - and all librarians are old.  This last part is quite troublesome for Alex who is looking to be trained, but cannot find any librarians willing to share their secrets.

He has managed, by chance and some trickery, to talk his way into the Royal Library, where he must figure out what is happening with the books, save them (the books) and himself, and convince the young queen of his task because he cannot do this alone.

I enjoyed the story.  If this is a series, I would be happy to read more.  If it is a standalone, it ended well enough.  I hope to read more of this author's work (particularly the thief series I've heard about) at some point in the future.

Tricks for Free

Title: Tricks for Free

Author: Seanan McGuire

Publisher: DAW

Series: InCryptid, Bk 7

ISBN: 9780756410407

Length: 346 + "The Recitation of the Most Holy and Harrowing Pilgrimage of Mindy and Also Mork" + "Price family Field Guide to the Cryptids of North America Updated and Expanded Edition"

Obtained: Library paperback copy

Comments: I do like this series.  I know it isn't for everyone, but I enjoy it.  Of the siblings, Verity remains my favorite, but they have all grown on me including Antimony.  She is on the run in this book, which means no Aeslin mice, so I was glad to have the short story at the end from the perspective of Mindy (and Sam, Antimony's... potential boyfriend).

Anyway, Antimony finds a hiding place from the Covenant (evil or misinformed or both group of "Van Helsing" types, who hunt all "monsters", not vampires) while also keeping away from her family (in order to protect them from unwanted discovery and attention).  She has secured a position at a theme park that is apparently runner up to Disney in both Florida and California - in this case Florida.  Coming from her recent Carnie type experiences, this seems an ideal fit.  But she is having issues with a burgeoning magical side.  Plus, she's seen an uptick in strange and unlucky events that may draw the Covenant's attention no matter how cautious she is - not to mention people are dying.

This series is really one that should be read in order, even though the books switch perspectives between siblings (this is the second Antimony book); they tend to build on each other, especiall these last few.  I look forward to the next book, That Ain’t Witchcraft, which will be another Antimony book.

The Door to the Lost

Title: The Door to the Lost

Author: Jaleigh Johnson

Publisher: Delacorte

ISBN: 9781101933169

Length: 289 pages

Obtained: Library print copy

Comments:

This was a quick and interesting middle grade fantasy.  A large number of children from another world with magic came through this world at the same time magic failed.  However, these children still have magic, and are looked at as the bringers of misfortune in a world that is not their own.  In other words, they are immigrants without parents or adults to help them navigate the prejudices and, for the most part, hatred and fear of the people (or at least the adults) in their new home.  They do not remember anything of their old world and so do not even have memories of better or happier times to turn to.

Rook has the ability to open doors to anywhere... except the country she came from.  Now she and her friends have been pulled into a dangerous scheme initiated by adults they cannot even trust.  Can they save their new land before it is destroyed?  Can they find a home in this world?  will they ever discover the secrets and mystery of their pasts?

After last week's Monday post, I immediately started this book (rather than sleep) and read straight through until I had finished it - work that Monday was harsh.  I enjoyed the break in pace and the kickstart to picking me up out of a potential reading slump.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Coyote Tales

Title: Coyote Tales

Author: Thomas King ; Illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler

Publisher: Groundwood Books

ISBN: 9781554988358

Length: 56 pages

Obtained: Library Hoopla ebook copy

Comments: 

Thomas King was recommended to me as a Canadian author from a co-worker.  He was born in the US and but has lived and worked in Canada for decades; he is from Ontario.  Byron Eggenschwiler is an illustrator from Alberta, Canada.

Coyote Tales includes two stories.  The first is "Coyote Sings to the Moon" a story that explains both the coyote's cry and the different phases of the moon.  The second is "Coyote's New Suit" in which the most tricky and scheming character is actually Raven.  Both stories contain black and white illustrations along the way to contribute to the story.

Both stories were brief and fun.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 7/30/2018

Hosted by: Book Date

I didn't get my helicopter ride yet.  Apparently the company they've been using has been having some mechanical issues, so until they have everything fixed, the ride is on hold.  Since having a Thursday evening off took more than a month's notice, I'm a bit concerned about whether I'll be able to manage a future date with my work schedule.  We'll see.

Since my sister and BIL are unable to start work on the inside of their new house (tenants are still in residence), they've been getting straight to work with the outside.  All the previous shingling is being taken down to expose the original wood of this almost 120 year old house.  I'm not involved in any of the work for this, but it's been fun to watch, if crazy.

My older nephew had his first 4-H dog show this weekend.  While it took cajoling and encouragement and 4 hours, we eventually made it through (he only ran out in the middle of judging once).  He came home to video games, and the other two kiddos came home to try start their own training attempts with a couple of the other dogs.  I found it incredibly cute and amusing to watch them put the dogs through their paces, but no one else seemed to care much.  Of course there was also an open house that day that my mother was preparing a dish for, and the house stuff, so those may have been factors.

Anyway, I went to a game night that same day, and we played a card version of Oregon Trail.  It was fun and brought back fond memories of the computer game in elementary school, but we had a couple people wipe out from dysentery and one from snakebite.

On the reading/blogging side, I've been dragging my feet on this post because I accomplished so little reading this past week...

This week I finished reading:


The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke  - [My post] This was my first review book from Edelweiss, and I enjoyed it.  It involves Norse mythology and assassins (of a sort) and was different than anything else I've read lately.

Coyote Tales by Thomas King - This is the second book I've finished for the 12th annual Canadian Book Challenge.  I still have to post on this per challenge requirements, but haven't yet.

The Story Chapter 1 "Creation: The Beginning of Life as We Know It" and Chapter 2 "God Builds a Nation" read by Michael Blain-Rozgay and Allison Moffett - These are eAudio through the library's Hoopla subscription.  I saw something about this series on another blog post and decided to try it.  Apparently each chapter is about 30 minutes long.  They are supposed to be set up like a continuous story.  This means some biblical stories are skipped.  But so I'm finding these readings interesting.

I'm currently reading:


In audio (on CD), I've been listening to Moby Dick by Herman Melville (read by Paul Boehmer).  I haven't listened to as much as I should have this week.  I did listen to some discussion of the ship dynamics - how the captain, mates, and primary harpooners interact with each other, particularly around meals.  Also the mast heads have been discussed.  I just looked at a physical copy, though, and it seems I have not really made a dent in the book.  Oh, dear.

A Hard Day's Knight (Nightside, Bk 11) by Simon R. Green (library OverDrive ebook) - I'm enjoying this so far.  John has gone to London Proper to seek the Knights of the Round Table for advice on dealing with Excalibur.

Eye of the Shoal : a Fish-watcher's Guide to Life, the Ocean and Everything by Helen Scales (library hardcover) - So far this is interesting, despite a bit too much evolution talk.  It seems to tie in well with Moby Dick.

Up next:

 
Nothing has changed from last week here.  My reading has reached snail pace.

The Saturday Morning Murder (Michael Ohayon, Bk 1) by Batya Gur
The Silk Train Murder (Kondike Era Mystery, Bk 1) by Sharon Rowse
Who Moved My Goat Cheese? (Farm-to-Fork Mystery, Bk 1) by Lynn Cahoon
Murder at the Mansion (Victorian Village Mystery, Bk 1) by Sheila Connolly
Bannerless (Bannerless, Bk 1) by Carrie Vaughn
Cat About Town (Cat Cafe Mystery, Bk 1) by Cate Conte
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (book discussion book)
The Door to the Lost by Jaleigh Johnson
The Scroll of Kings (Lost Books, Bk 1) by Sarah Prineas
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi; Translated by Jonathan Wright
Tricks for Free (InCryptid, Bk 7) by Seanan McGuire
Happy Cactus: Cacti, Succulents, and More

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Boneless Mercies

Title: The Boneless Mercies

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Macmillan)

ISBN: 9780374307066

Length: 352 pages

Obtained: Download from Edelweiss+

Comments:

I just signed up for Edelweiss and was whitelisted for all Macmillan titles.  I was picking my first book and wanted to make sure it would be one I would definitely read... the right one.  When I saw this one includes girls in "the death trade" and was a standalone, I just had to read it.  My interest in assassin-type books is apparently never ending.

The Boneless Mercies are girls and women trained in the art of the "mercy killing."  For those who are frail and dying, they can seek a quick death by inviting these girls, marked by their cloaks, to finish their lives - for a price.  Ever since the Mercy that trained them passed, Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa have been growing weary of their work in the death trade.  But they've recently heard of a beast that remains undefeated despite many warriors fighting to stop it.  This is their chance to change their futures.  Meeting with cruel men, Sea Witches, and others along the way, they will fight for what might be.

I liked Frey and her fellow traveling companions.  Each of the girls and Trigve, the young man they had added to their group along the way, reveal their different characters and (mostly tragic) backgrounds as the story progresses. 

I also appreciated the bits about Norse culture and mythology that was interspersed throughout the story, including their attitudes toward death and strong oral history.  The Boneless Mercies are quiet and not mentioned in the tales, but Frey wants to make an impression that will be passed down like the other sagas and chronicles that the Norse share.

While not necessarily what I might have expected, I enjoyed the story and finished it quickly.

Monday, July 23, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 7/23/2018

Hosted by: Book Date

Another week has passed.  My sister and BIL (who have been staying with us) finally signed for their new house...next door.  Now they just need to wait for the tenants to leave and get some basic reno/remodeling done and they will be moving out - with the 3 kiddos, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 guinea pigs, 2 birds, and 1 bearded dragon.  I love them, but I can't wait!  So close! I suspect this next month or two before things settle may be the hardest for me.

Earlier this summer I won a free helicopter ride over my hometown.  I plan to use it this week, so I'm super psyched!

On the reading side, most of what I read was short, but at least it feels like I've accomplished something...

This week I finished reading:

The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny (Nightside, Bk 10) by Simon R. Green - [My post / re-read] I've already started book 11, A Hard Day's Knight.

Mary Flora BellThe Horrific True Story Behind an Innocent Girl Serial Killer by Nancy A. Veysey and Ryan Becker - [My post]

White Sand Blues (Ashley Grant, Bk 1) by Vicki Delany - [My post] The first book I've read for the 12th annual Canadian Book Challenge!

Dog Dish of Doom (Agent to the Paws, Bk 1) by E. J. Copperman - [My post] I look forward to reading book 2, Bird, Bath, and Beyond (I have a review copy).

Saving Fiona: The Story of the World's Most Famous Baby Hippo by Thane Maynard - [Goodreads] This children's story tells the story of premature hippo Fiona who was born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in early 2017.  A cute feel-good story.  The end includes facts about hippos.


I'm currently reading:

In audio (on CD), I've been listening to Moby Dick by Herman Melville (read by Paul Boehmer).  This week I heard an entire lecture on the ways whaling is a good, beneficial industry (sorry not buying it), heard a description of the ship and its set off for the upcoming 3 year journey, and been introduced to the ship officers.  The last part was particularly difficult for me to focus on, unfortunately.  I found my mind wandering throughout.

A Hard Day's Knight (Nightside, Bk 11) by Simon R. Green (library OverDrive ebook)

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke (Edelweiss+ review copy ebook)

Eye of the Shoal : a Fish-watcher's Guide to Life, the Ocean and Everything by Helen Scales (library hardcover)

Coyote Tales by Thomas King (library Hoopla ebook) - American/Canadian author

The Story: Chapter 1 "Creation: The Beginning of Life as We Know It" - (library Hoopla eAudio) - I saw a later chapter on another blog on a previous Monday - I can't remember who/where - and decided to try it.

Up next:

 
I have returned yet more library books unread.  Some of the library books I still have out include (my apologies for the low-quality pic above):

The Saturday Morning Murder (Michael Ohayon, Bk 1) by Batya Gur
The Silk Train Murder (Kondike Era Mystery, Bk 1) by Sharon Rowse
Who Moved My Goat Cheese? (Farm-to-Fork Mystery, Bk 1) by Lynn Cahoon
Murder at the Mansion (Victorian Village Mystery, Bk 1) by Sheila Connolly
Bannerless (Bannerless, Bk 1) by Carrie Vaughn
Cat About Town (Cat Cafe Mystery, Bk 1) by Cate Conte
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (book discussion book)
The Door to the Lost by Jaleigh Johnson
The Scroll of Kings (Lost Books, Bk 1) by Sarah Prineas
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi; Translated by Jonathan Wright
Tricks for Free (InCryptid, Bk 7) by Seanan McGuire
Happy Cactus: Cacti, Succulents, and More