Tag Archives: The Bloggess

Books, books everywhere

1 Jun

There is so much I want to read at the moment, and so little time.

We moved house lately, and we no longer have our dog, which is a deeply sad story that I can’t bring myself to tell. Writing that sentence alone brings a lump to my throat.

I should be writing more, but I’m finding work exhausting still, and I keep getting ill (combination of many people in quite a small space, air conditioning, and fatigue) so my novel hasn’t been touched since I started at my job.

On the bright side, I have so far (according to my record on Goodreads) read 47 books this year – granted, about 15 of them are Animorphs books so about four should really count as one, but I raised my reading target to a hundred books by the end of the year. I have a strong contender for next year’s book of the year already, but The Bloggess is releasing another book later this year, and there be a lot of time twixt here and new year, so it’s all to play for. I mean, read for.

The gang (the least ‘street’ gang in the world) have lately been playing a lot of Sherlock Holmes related games, and Orphen has taken a massive interest in Risk Legacy lately. If you haven’t heard of it (I hadn’t), Risk Legacy is sort of like a Risk tournament. You play about 15 games in total with different objectives each time, and the game gets ‘scars’ from previous battled. Orphen has written a very impressive bit of back story for the game, and we’re all really enjoying it so far.

We hope to break into RPGs soon (I’m pretty sure RPGs are a type of weapon, but I refer to roleplaying games as we’re not much for actual violence), starting with the Firefly RPG. I’m going to be gamesmaster, which should be interesting since I have NO IDEA what I’m doing even after I’ve nearly finished the guide. Anybody got any tips?

Luckily, Kjarl has a work friend who’s going to help, and he’s even going to GM our first session. I’ve only ever done online roleplaying, so this is something new, exciting, and gratifyingly nerdy.

This was a pretty comprehensive catchup post. Thus it ends.

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What I’m Reading 6.2

31 May

We have a dog! He’s the one from the Blue Cross I mentioned before, and he’s a massive softy by the name of Floyd. When we come from work his tail wags so much it’s hard for him to operate his legs, and he staggers across the kitchen towards us.

Isn’t the cover for this one ugly? This is the cover of the copy we had when I was little.

Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper concludes The Dark Is Rising sequence in a big, bittersweet showdown of awesome. The six protagonists, the ‘Six’ who shall turn back the Dark, are thrown together at last in the mountains of Wales to defeat the last and greatest rising of the forces of evil. It’s very bittersweet, this one, and you get the real sense of the children starting to grow up without it being spelled out for you. I always feel wistful at the end of this one.

 

The mouse is called Hamlet von Schnitzel

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson is the first autobiography I have ever read from cover to cover. It’s written by the Bloggess who blogs here and is generally amazing. I first was drawn to her blog for the humour and stayed for the mental illness, because it’s oddly reassuring to find really successful writers who suffer from worse anxiety than me.

Lawson (oh heck, I can’t call her that, I’ve been reading her blog for too long) tells of her childhood growing up in rural Texas with her awesome (plus kinda bonkers) taxidermist father and eternally patient mother, and moves on to her adventures working in HR and her life with her husband Victor, along with her struggles with an impressive array of mental illnesses. I can’t read this book without creasing up laughing, and that’s on my second read through.

There is an extremely sad chapter in the middle where Jenny covers her experience with miscarriages, and my heart pretty much broke for her, so if this is a trigger for you I’d recommend skipping the first half of that chapter (you’ll know which one before it really gets going) but come back halfway through because it’s quite an important part of her life and it’s beautiful and moving. She writes the whole book in a charming rambling dialogue where she merrily wanders off topic, and there is an infinite amount of sadness that I will probably never meet her because I do much the same thing.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey – I know right? Get me with the literature! I’ve been making an effort to read the classics lately. I’ve been reading this for quite some time – since the first of April, according to my Kindle. It’s not easy going, and a lot of time I’m not sure what’s real and what’s just the product of the narrator’s mental illness/imagination. Basically so far it’s a struggle for power on a mental ward, only I think the only way to understand this novel is to finish it. It makes you think, and bits have made me laugh. I need to be in the right frame of mind to read it, and it’s not one I’m in all the time. Slow progress!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins doesn’t exactly need any introduction at the moment, what with being a major motion picture and all, but I feel the need to state that I read it before it was cool damnit! Well, before it was a film anyway. To be honest, i read the trilogy along with Mark at http://www.markreads.net a couple of years ago. It’s unputdownable. I don’t care if that’s not a word.

The 12 districts of Panem are ruled by the Capital, where people live in the lap of luxury whilst those in the districts starve. As punishment for a rebellion 74 years previously, each district must offer up one boy and girl as tribute. Tributes are then sent into an arena to battle to the death in a violent and mad reality TV show. 16-year-old Katniss takes her younger sister’s place and is taken to the capital to compete in the Games.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. The Games are over, but Katniss still isn’t safe. Having defied the gamemakers and the Capital by daring to survive her games, they’re out for her blood. Everything in District 12 is about to change for the worse.

I’m reading this at the moment, so I’m not sure how much I enjoyed it the first, second and third times (I’m a serial re-reader), but it continues to enthrall me.

Also? This trilogy has a ‘ship called Peeniss. Or possibly KatPee. Writers need to think about these things. In my novel the two ships would be CaSt and McCosta.

There will be a 6.3. I’ve been reading a lot lately.