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What I'm reading, what I'm thinking of reading & what I've read. And stuff.

Currently reading

Dessert divas
Christine Manfield
A Man on the Moon
Andrew Chaikin
Dessert divas - Christine Manfield

Oh My God. Hardcore food-porn. Actually I feel a bit of a fraud having this on my "currently reading" shelf; what I'm actually doing is lugging it from room to room in my house to find a comfy place to sit for a while looking at the pictures. The book is fekking humungous, weighing almost 2kg and, when open, is about the size of the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. The recipes are well beyond my ability - and what would be possible in my little kitchen -  but is it still fun to look at the pictures read.
If you want a sample of what I'm talking about...



More here...


84, Charing Cross Road - Helene Hanff

This isn't actually the edition I read... actually, I listened to the audio version read by Juliet Stephenson and John Nettles, which I found quite wonderful.

My Old Man's an All Black

Just This Once - Rosalind  James Chocolate Cake for Breakfast - Danielle Hawkins

Sigh. It is with some reluctance I move Just This Once onto the "Abandoned" shelf. I'm up to the 49% mark, and have not touched the book for many months. I wanted to love it, I really did. Sadly, I just don't care what happens next. I think part of my problem is that the Hero is not just an All Black, but THE All Black (i.e. captain), and I can only imagine my own sense of anger and betrayal if our beloved Captain Fantastic hooked up with some bint from the States settled down with foreigner, particularly one from a non-rugby country. I feel small minded as I type these words, but I fear it is the truth.


JTO has also been thrown into sharp relief for me recently by reading Chocolate Cake for Breakfast. This time our Hero is also an All Black - and The World's Best Lock - but somehow Danielle Hawkins manages to make him far more believable/authentic than The All Black from JTO. In JTO, the kiwi colloquialisms felt as if they were poked into the dialogue for effect, in CCFB the arose naturally from the character development.


CCFB is the second book from Danielle Hawkins that I've read, and I have every intention of reading every other thing she writes in the future. I may give Rosalind James another crack sometime in the future, but don't hold your breath.

Chocolate Cake for Breakfast - Danielle Hawkins
"...the prospect of a couple of hours on a hard plastic chair had all the appeal of a fish milkshake..."

2/3 read, 1/3 to go...

Doomsday Book - Connie Willis

I may have to refrain from reading this directly before bed - I dreamed of epidemics last night.

I didn't realise it was going to be this thick... (update)

Dangerous Women - Jim Butcher, George R.R. Martin, Gardner R. Dozois, Diana Gabaldon

nearly 800 pages, 21 stories... Won't be reading them all. However, I do want to keep track of how many pages I have read.

Intro: 3

Some Desperado: 20

Nora's Song: 27

Raisa Stepanova: 28

A Queen in Exile: 30

Second Arabasque, Very Slowly: 30

The Girl in the Mirror: 33

The Hands that are Not There: 27

Neighbours: 38

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell: 49

Bombshells: 50


Total so far: 336


That seems like quite enough pages to count as a 'book' :-)

I think the last 2 on that list were probably my favourites, but I think I did a pretty good job of picking out the stories that would appeal most, but hard to know when I didn't read the others...

Holiday Reading Easter 14

A King's Ransom - Sharon Kay Penman Dangerous Women - Jim Butcher, George R.R. Martin, Gardner R. Dozois, Diana Gabaldon Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1) - Laini Taylor, Khristine Hvam Twin Spica, Volume: 10   [TWIN SPICA V10] [Paperback] - Kou(Author) Yaginuma Just This Once - Rosalind  James Love's Will - Meredith Whitford Shift Omnibus - Hugh Howey

Well, it's holiday time yet again, so finally time to make up for the sloooowwww progress I've made in reading though termtime. Top of the list: A King's Ransom... 170 pages in so far... *happy sigh* Really think I need to go back and read the Justin de Qunincy books once I've finished this (not immediatly I finish, just within the next 5 years or so). I'm also keen to read a few more of the stories in Dangerous Women, which by some miracle I managed to renew at the library. I guess all the GoT & Outlander fans had already rushed out to buy it or something.
On the audiobook front, I'm keen to knock off the last 3-ish hours of Shift pretty soon & make a start on Daughter of Smoke & Bone. This is for a group challenge over at GR: this particular task is to read a book set in a school (so it better bloody be!!). My Silo fever appears to have burnt itself out for now, but I dare say I'll be back for the 3rd installment - Dust - at some point. Might wait until the library has an audio version tho.
I also have the next volume of Twin Spica to read - finally!! For some inexplicable reason it's been 6 months since I finished #9, although prior to that I was grazing my way through at the rate of one per month. Hope I've not forgotten too much of the detail in the meantime.
Must try and finish Love's Will. I was really enjoying it before I was distracted by Wool. And then Shift. It's a bit more of a strugle to go back to Just This Once -

mostly because of the hero being The All Black Captain... I can't help but think how infuriated I'd be if our current Captain Fantastic ended up hitched to a non-kiwi. I know I'm being irrational here, but it's seriously impacting on my ability to enjoy the story

(show spoiler)

- so that may end up as a dnf, which is a bit of a shame as I wanted to like it.



Grrr.... Infuriating that since AudioGo folded there are so many recent audiobook covers that just seem to be completely absent from the web. Like the cover for this book. just ARRGGH. I may have to pretend I'm reading a different edition.


And by the way, half way through disc 3 and I dislike the narrator's voice. I don't like the accent or the tonal quality of his speech. He seems incapable of deep voices. grr. I may just have to spend the next few weeks being irritated.

Just..... wow.

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) (Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey

Amazing. Can't quite understand myself why it took me so long between starting and finishing this. I'm sure if I was 30 years younger I would have read it in about 4 days. I can't count the number of times I thought I knew what would happen next and was wrong.


Going on to the follow-up - Shift - now. Has mixed reviews, so I'm not going to have my expectations too high.

Flavia Rises

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows - Alan Bradley

Enjoyable, but not so much as the previous ones in the series.

The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water - Andrea Camilleri, Daniel Philpott

Love the fact that this has not only an author's note, but also some notes from the translator at the end explaining some of the turns of phrase, hidden meanings, and all that stuff that you'd really only understand if you were a local. A nice change of pace from US/UK type mysteries.

The cover of the edition I'm listening to
The cover of the edition I'm listening to
The Shape of Water - Andrea Camilleri, Daniel Philpott

Not really keen on this pinkish cover, which seems to be the most recent edition of this audiobook. Pretty sure I wouldn't pick it off the library shelf. The terracotta one above appeals far more.

Why do I keep starting books? (before I finish the previous one...)

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1) (Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey Love's Will - Meredith Whitford Just This Once - Rosalind  James Doctor Who: Apollo 23 - Justin Richards

Only the one dead tree book on the go at the moment - Wool, which was recommended to me by our school librarian. I've read the first section of it, and I'm hooked, but now that I'm back at work after the summer holidays it's hard to have enough brain left at the end of the day to be able to read it.

On the phone I have Love's Will  AND Just This Once in progress via the kindle ap. Really enjoying Love's Will, and happily knocked off another chapter and a bit on the ferry back from the city this afternoon. I find Meredith Whitford's writing style very appealing, and this is an interesting read to follow up The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England   which I read late last year. Just This Once finally wore down my resistance... Hero plays rugby for the Blues (which is local team here in Auckland, and I just renewed my season tix!) Seems the ideal time to read this one, even if I am still in the middle of Love's Will.

I have Doctor Who: Apollo 23 on audiobook, giving me something to listen to while waiting for the library to get the audiobook I really want (I Am Half-Sick of Shadows) . I'm actually enjoying it a lot more than I did to start with, although the narrator has some very annoying accents and pronunciations. I have been seduced by the idea of the Apollo program continuing in secret into the 1980s.

The Assassin's Prayer

The Assassin's Prayer - Ariana Franklin,  Diana Bishop

ARRGGH!!! Well, actually I had been warned that there's a bit of a cliffhanger end, and the author has passed on, with this the last completed book in the series, so ARRGGHH!!!


Meanwhile, interesting to see the start of Joanna's marriage, having seen the end of it in Lionheart back in January. Also interesting to see Richard through the eyes of a different author - an unsympathetic treatment here.

A Discovery of a whole lot of unnecessary words.

A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) - Deborah Harkness

I wanted to like this a bunch more than I did (which, having read a bunch of reviews, I find is a common reaction). At times I felt I was drowning in boring, irrelevant detail! There were just too many long, dull, descriptive passages, which I suppose were trying to set tone or mood or something, but were basically just enraging. 


Still, the story was interesting enough that I'll probably read the next one, even tho such a big deal has been made of the fact that the relationship between hero and heroine has yet to be consummated that I'm rather terrified of what will happen when it finally is (please God, no long, dull, descriptive passages!)



  Finally, I'm amused to note that the edition I actually read (pictured here) has its description on Goodreads in Spanish. No, I'm not going to use my librarian powers to fix it. Some other schmuck can sort it out. Does that make me petty? Probably. Do I care? Not a bit!

A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
"The real problem was that we were in the midst of an acute outbreak of testosterone poisoning"