Tag Archives: Mastiff

Hoping and choosing hope

25 Sep

I had an interview yesterday. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve had since I lost my job 10 months ago, but I think it’s in the 30s now. Still, I choose to believe that I will get called back for a second interview for this one. I was totally in the zone yesterday – I didn’t even stutter and have to go ‘Bleurgh – Oops, I seem to have forgotten how to talk’, which is quite common for me! It gives me an opportunity to reset my words. If you’ve ever watched Ally Macbeal, one of the characters had a stutter and he would reset himself by saying ‘Poughkepsie’, which is a city in New York state.

Anyway, in the interview I didn’t go into any roundabout speeches like that one up there.

I’ve also just started my marketing course – I’ll be stopping writing in a moment to go to the second webinar. I’m really excited – I will learn things that I can actually use for my chosen vocation! I feel all fancy.

On the subject of choosing hope, and totally separate to everything I do on this blog usually, I’d like to draw attention to the fact that it is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Mary Tyler Mom, who lost her four year old daughter to a brain tumour a few years ago, is curating a series where every day in September, somebody tells their story of childhood cancer. I really recommend giving it a read.

(This post began being written on Tuesday and finished up on Thursday. Not my speediest!)

Currently reading:

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
“‘Now, if you find yourself in trouble wherever you go, you can say, “You have no idea who you’re fucking with. I’m under the protection of the lady who gave me this object of her favour.”‘
‘And that’s supposed to make them stop?’
‘Shit no, that’s just to confuse them. Then you can kill them while they’re standing there looking at you funny.'”

Harry Potter y la Cámara Secreta by J K Rowling

Perseus Spur by Julian May

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Hunted by Kevin Hearne

The Martian by Andy Weir

Completed since 12/3/2014 (50)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*
United We Spy by Ally Carter
“Our dads are politicians, Preston. Of course we grew up thinking they might be evil.”

The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*
Trapped by Kevin Hearne*
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*

*First read

Busy going nowhere

17 Sep

Everything is very frustrating and up in the air these days. I was playing lots of Star Wars: The Old Republic as a distraction but my main character is stuck because Sith Lords are hard to kill, so I got frustrated with that too.

As a result, I am reading voraciously. I have finished five books since Friday, and I currently am surrounded by the eight books I am reading at the moment. I’m trying to broaden my mind a bit, so I’ve broken into reading nonfiction, and I continue my slow crawl through the classics section of the library. I’m still on Brontë, though Anne now. Why this was shelved after Charlotte is beyond me. Maybe Eastleigh Library alphabet is different to our English alphabet (Which I want to say is Hindu-Arabic but I think that’s our numeric system).

The stream of consciousness in this post is overflowing. I think I need to fetch sandbags.

Anyway, so I read a history book and now I’m reading one about nurses’ perspectives in World War II.

I’m also devouring geography quizzes and can now locate and name all the states of the US (in alphabetical order, forwards and backwards…it helps me sleep), and locate the countries of South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. My friends are getting used to being told things like ‘Eritrea is kinda shaped like a funnel’ and ‘Turkmenistan sorta looks like it’s on its way to eat Turkey, but Azerbaijan with its big nose is in the way’. They are thrilled.

I am enjoying the exciting process of being rejected for jobs that would challenge me AND jobs that I could do in my sleep. It’s a fun time. I wish I had known, when I stopped qualifying for Job Seekers Allowance, that I would still be unemployed four months later. I could have spent the time working on my own business and writing my novel instead of searching for jobs.

Anyway, I have excellent family and friends, and that’s something that should never be undervalued. I’ll be starting a marketing course on Monday, courtesy of Fairy, and I’m looking forward to it 🙂

Everybody proving equally matched at boardgames

It’s a four-way tie for second/last place!

 

Currently reading:

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

United We Spy by Ally Carter
‘”And…and…this is your fault.” He pointed in my direction. “You should have had the decency to die when we needed you to.”
“Sorry,” I admitted. “I’ve been going through a bit of a rebellious streak. I swear it’s almost over.”‘

Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*

The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*

Trapped by Kevin Hearne*

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
“‘We have all the bows, Ravelle!’
‘Well, damn,’ said Locke. ‘You must have raided the weapons lockers then. I suppose I was hoping we could have one of those pleasant dancing mutinies, or maybe a singing-and-card-games mutiny, you know?'”

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*

Completed since 12/3/2014 (45)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
“‘You are very near death, Master Lamora,’ said Ibelius. ‘it is foolish for you to be larking about on deck in this weather.’
‘Ibelius,’ said Jean, ‘if what Locke is doing were larking about, corpses could get jobs as acrobats.’

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
‘”You know,” I whispered, “some girls might think it’s creepy having a boy watch them sleep.”
He smirked and pointed to himself. “Spy.”
“Oh.” I nodded. “Right. So you’re a trained Peeping Tom.”
“Product of the best peeping academies in the country.”‘

Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
“Singapore was supposed to be impregnable but, as a certain young mother from Bethlehem could tell you, impregnation can sometimes come from the most unexpected direction.”

Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*

*First read

The Trouser Legs of Time

2 Sep

Sometimes I find myself caught up in ‘what-ifs’, what Terry Pratchett calls the trouser legs of time. Not necessarily in a wistful way – sometimes in a ‘whoa, that would suck’ kind of way.

Let’s start with ‘What if I had studied harder at college and got better A level grades?’ 

Oddly, this one wouldn’t make that much of a difference. I got into the university I wanted and the course I wanted.

Which leads us to ‘What if I had made more friends at uni, studied harder, and slept through less lectures?’

I could have been a teacher for seven years by now! Weird. Also, I would never have met my ex.

Which leads us to ‘What if my ex hadn’t broken up with me?’

To be fair, I would be pretty miserable. I was devastated at the time, but our particular mesh of mental illnesses did not complement each other at all. Also, as a result of our breakup, I was at my mum’s house one day when a neighbour came over to ask if any of Mum’s children would like a summer job…

‘What if I hadn’t worked for the NHS?’

Then I wouldn’t have been on a Southampton City Primary Care Trust Christmas party that collided with a Southampton University Hospitals Trust Christmas party, which was largely insignificant except that I met my fiance that night.

These are just some of the ways my mind goes. Sometimes it can get pretty dizzying, considering all the possibilities.

Like, ‘What if I’d won more games recently?’

Then the table wouldn’t look like this:

Table top games

Orphen’s been on a roll lately

Currently reading:

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
“‘You wound us, Madam,’ said Calo. ‘We’re harmless as kittens.’
‘More so,’ said Galdo. ‘Kittens have claws and piss on things indiscriminately.'”

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Hexed by Kevin Hearne*

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Completed since 12/3/2014 (37)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
“It struck Mort with sudden, terrible poignancy that Death must be the loneliest creature in the universe. In the great party of Creation, he was always in the kitchen.”

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
“‘Percy,’ my mom said. ‘I give you my blessing.’
‘Be safe, brother!’ Tyson pleaded.
‘Enchiladas!’ Grover said. I wasn’t sure where that came from, but it didn’t seem to help much.”

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
“The Operatives realized they were about to have a very hostile encounter with a very angry teacher- slash-possible-enemy-agent, so they utilized a number of highly recommended covert tactics.
1. Operative McHenry said, “Are you ready yet? Are you ready yet? Are you ready yet?” in rapid succession until Operative Sutton was, in fact, ready”

Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
“Monty Python is like catnip for nerds. Once you get them started quoting it, they re constitutionally incapable of feeling depressed.”

*First Read

Learning new things

5 Aug

In the face of my struggling computer, I decided it’s time to see what I can do to fix it up a bit, since buying a new one or paying for repairs is out of the question. So a few days ago I loaded up a video on Youtube and learned how to clean the fan. It was mucky but easy enough, and my computer now runs a lot more quietly and I don’t have a permanent heat rash on my left leg. Success!

I still need to work out how to speed the thing up though – can’t afford a new hard drive or anything. I also need a new battery and charger.

With my suddenly not-burning-with-the-heat-of-a-thousand-suns computer, I decided I would spend some time playing Star Wars: The Old Republic again. SWTOR is an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) a bit like World of Warcraft, but obviously set in the Star Wars galaxy. You can play with two characters for free up to a certain

Dominion - tabletop card based games

Our layout of Dominion, complete with Kjarl and Fairlake’s hands

level, and although being a subscriber gets you extra stuff, it’s still plenty of fun. I played for two days solid and got up to about level 12, and I think you can go up to level 50 for free. You can choose your class (Jedi, trooper, empire etc) and your race (I’m human at the moment, my first time playing my main Jedi character was a Twi’lek) and whether you want to play on the side of the Republic or the Sith Empire.

I kind of want to play right now. Oh well. Stuff to do.

A couple of weeks ago the gang played Dominion for the first time – it started out seeming really difficult but then we got the hang of it and it was loads of fun. It’s a card based game where you have to …accomplish…stuff. Okay, it was a couple of weeks ago. I can’t remember how to play, just that I enjoyed myself, and that I won!

That changes the scoreboard (though just a little bit), so here goes:

Board games scoreboard

You may all admire how I forget what font I’ve used every time I update the table

Currently reading:

Mort by Terry Pratchett
“Mort tapped the stallholder in the small of the back. 
   ‘Can you see me?’ he demanded.
   The stallholder squinted critically at him.
   ‘I reckon so,’ he said. ‘or someone very much like you.'”

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
“The Operatives made contact with an asset who had firsthand knowledge of the Blackthorne Institute for Boys. The Asset was also privy to Joe Solomon’s private plans, the Circle’s secrets, and some of the most awesome-smelling soap in the world. The Operatives, therefore, tried not to trust (or smell) The Asset.”

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Completed since 12/3/2014 (32)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
“‘My fatal flaw. That’s what the sirens showed me. My fatal flaw is hubris.’
   I blinked. ‘That brown stuff they spread on veggie sandwiches?’
   She rolled her eyes. ‘No, Seaweed Brain. That’s hummus. Hubris is worse.’
   ‘What could be worse than hummus?'”

A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
“Operatives Morgan, Baxter and Sutton conducted a detailed search of the Gallagher Mansion, following the textbook grid pattern of detection. (They were sure about this because Operative Sutton brought along the actual textbook.)”

Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
“‘Your mark was on the crates at camp. Quintus got his scorpions from you.’
   ‘Quintus . . .’Geryon mused. ‘Short grey hair, muscular, swordsman?’
   ‘Yeah.’
   ‘Never heard of him.'”

What I’m Reading 3.0

30 Nov

Well, that’s been quite the couple of weeks. Feeling the buildup towards Christmas at work, and then I go and get a virus that gave me labyrinthitis, which knocked me off my feet for a week. Fun! I hope your late November was brighter than mine. On the plus side I turned 26, and got a Kindle, which will enable me to read more!

Completed books:

Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
Tortall and Other Lands
Star by Star
Little Brother
Lies
Want to Play?
Star by Star
Heist Society

What I’ve been reading since:

'Dark Journey' by Elaine Cunningham Dark Journey by Elaine Cunningham continues the New Jedi Order series, and follows the progress of Han and Leia’s daughter, Jaina, as she deals with the loss of her brothers in Star by Star. It’s quite hard going if you’re a fan of the Solo kids – if you read the Star Wars extended universe novels you’ve basically seen the three children grow up, and now one is dead, one is missing (presumed by Jaina to be dead), and the third one is veering heavily towards the dark side out of grief.

At this point in the series I’m like ‘yeesh, these people have had more than 20 years of war, give them a break already!’ but this book doesn’t do that, although by the end of the novel we see Jaina finding some measure of relief as she starts to curb her desire for vengeance.

Rebel Dream by Aaron AllstonEnemy Lines I: Rebel Dream sees the forming of a new government after the collapse of the capital planet of the New Republic. This new government dislikes the Jedi, and doesn’t expect to win the war against the Yuuzhan Vong, and only care about buying time so they can save their own planets, so they plan to sacrifice our heroes to buy that time. Aaron Allston is one of my favourite of the Star Wars writers – he plays with a couple of X-Wing squadrons as well as with the main characters, and he continues the focus on Jaina Solo, who has moved away from the dark side to a more fatalistic view, expecting to die in battle like her brother(s) and distancing herself from her loved ones.

Live Bait by PJ TracyLive Bait by PJ Tracy is the second of the awesome Monkeewrench novels. Detectives Magozzi and Rolseth, with some help from their friends from Monkeewrench, investigate the deaths of several elderly people in suburban Minneapolis, leading them into a tale of vigilanteism (is that even a word?) and revenge dating back to WWII. Have I mentioned that I love Patricia and Traci Lambrecht? I have such a big writer crush on them. This novel continues the character development from Want to Play? with much more warmth and humour than one traditionally gets from a thriller. So much love for these books.

Dead Run by PJ Tracy is the third Monkeewrench novel. Grace and Annie from Monkeewrench and their friend Sharon who saved Grace’s life in Want to Play? are driving cross country to consultant with a sheriff department in Wisconsin when their car breaks down. Now they are trapped in a small town called Four Corners, where all the people are dead and some sort of army is patrolling the streets. Their menfolk (lol) rush to rescue them as they rush to rescue themselves, and suddenly the whole thing becomes so much bigger than just Four Corners. This book scared the crap out of me the first time I read it. Seriously, READ THESE. Or I’ll punch you in the nose. Deal?

Snow Blind by PJ Tracy Snow Blind by PJ Tracy is the fourth Monkeewrench novel. Someone’s killing cops and hiding them in snowmen – is it a serial killer or something murkier? This novel explores vigilanteism and domestic violence, and the utter creepiness of being alone in the dark.

This one’s spooky and thought provoking, and a little heartbreaking.

Play to Kill by PJ TracyPlay to Kill by PJ Tracy (Shoot to Thrill in the US, where they have stupid names for stuff :-p) is the fifth, and so far last, of the Monkeewrench novels. I think it’s my least favourite – I even managed to put it down once. Someone is putting videos of their murders on Youtube. The Monkeewrench crew team up with FBI agent John Smith and their friends Detectives Magozzi and Rolseth to try and save the day, but when the whole of Minneapolis is threatened, can they solve the murders in time?

I desperately want more of these!

Ok, something different.

Looking for Alaska by John GreenLooking for Alaska by John Green – I’m reading this along with Mark at http://www.markreads.net. So far we’re following this kid Miles who’s just started at a new boarding school in Alabama where he’s met this girl called Alaska that he’s fallen in love with. So far I’m really enjoying this – there’s a sort of ferocious celebration of intelligence in it which I adore – but I have no idea what it’s ultimately about! The blurb isn’t giving much away, and I hadn’t even heard of John Green until the day a week or so ago when Mark announced he would be reading this in between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I probably won’t keep you informed about whether I like this, so why don’t you read along with Mark too? I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is the first of the Southern Vampire books, more popularly known as the True Blood novels. I have a guilty love for trashy vampire fiction, and though it’s pretty well written, you can’t get much trashier than the True Blood books. There’s a lot of humour to them though, and they don’t take themselves too seriously, which is something I’m always a fan of. Sookie Stackhouse is a small town waitress in rural Louisiana, who just happens to be telepathic. Her boring life becomes a lot more interesting when she befriends and then falls in love with local vampire Bill Compton.

Harris’ world is quite detailed, and it’s something not done before as far as I know – a world where vampires have come ‘out of the coffin’ as it were, due to a Japanese invention of sythesised blood. If you don’t mind borderline porn, it’s an enjoyable read that doesn’t overtax your brain.

Moon Child by J R Rain is the fourth and so far last of the American Vampire series that I think are only available for Kindle. Samantha Moon is a soccer mom who has been a vampire for about six years, and in this novel her seven year old son is dying – she only has one way to save him. She must work as quickly as possible to find a way to reverse his vampirism, but another, far older vampire is out to stop her.

This series is way better than it sounds, and it’s dirt cheap for Kindle – if you have one, or if you have the Kindle app on your phone, I really recommend it.

The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper is the first of the Dark Is Rising sequence for children. Simon, Jane and Barney are on holiday in Cornwall with their parents and the mysterious Great Uncle Merry, when they blunder upon an ancient map. Before they know it, they are on a quest, racing against the forces of the Dark to find the ancient Grail. I love these books. These are my childhood. When I went to Cornwall for the first time about four years ago, everything just reminded me of this novel – it’s a bit old fashioned now, but at the same time it’s timeless. I hope my children will read it one day.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper is the second in the sequence. Will thinks he is just an ordinary boy, but on his eleventh birthday he is called into his power as the last of the Old Ones, destined to fight the Dark for the fate of humanity. He must collect six signs. From here on in the books follow this verse, which I was obsessed with as a child (approximate, from memory!)

When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the Circle, three from the track.
Wood, bronze, iron, water, fire, stone,
Five shall return and one go alone.

Iron for the birthday, bronze carried long,
Wood from the burning, stone out of song,
Fire from the candle ring, water from the thaw,
Six signs the Circle and the Grail gone before.

Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold,
Played to wake the Sleepers, oldest of the old.
Power from the Greenwitch, lost beneath the sea,
All shall find the Light at last, silver on the tree.

It’s basically an epic battle of good vs evil, all fought in a quintessentially British way. Plus if you get my version, it’s all purdy.

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce  is the third and last of the Beka Cooper trilogy. Beka and her partner Tunstall and scent hound Achoo are called on to help when the crown prince of Tortall, four year old Gareth, is kidnapped.

This. Is. Amazing.

But before I talk about that, join me in freaking out about this:

WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER NECK? SERIOUSLY! IS THIS THE EXCORCIST OR SOMETHING? AAAAARGH!

Ahem. Anyway. This may well be my very favourite Tamora Pierce novel ever, which is really saying something. I got stuck in about a third of the way through, and couldn’t go to bed before I’d finished at 3.25am. I was very tired the next day. #firstworldproblems

I think that’s everything! That was pretty epic.

So, finished books as of 30/11/11:

Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
Tortall and Other Lands
Star by Star
Little Brother
Lies
Want to Play?
Star by Star
Heist Society
Dark Journey
Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
Live Bait
Dead Run
Snow Blind
Play to Kill
Over Sea, Under Stone
Mastiff

So, that’s 45 days, 16 books.
Currently still reading:

The Dark is Rising
Dead Until Dark
Moon Child
Looking for Alaska