November 12, 2016

November madness

Foggy start to the day (5:30am)

Already it's been a weird, mad, insane month.  The weather is absurdly hot for November where I live.  It's already been up to 35°c (95°f), which is about 7 degrees above average, and so hot and dry!  At the moment it's overcast, and yet I'm sitting at the computer with the window open and a desk fan on - and yet when I woke up this morning there was fog everywhere!  Hoping for thunderstorms to try and relieve some of this heat.

Then, to add insult to injury (so to speak), I awaited the results of the US Election.  That was the biggest load of crap!  I can't believe that they would elect a completely unqualified individual, who not only had the backing of the KKK (wtf!), but also has a hate-on for minorities, women, immigrants (seriously, doesn't he realize that his ancestors were immigrants once?!), and anyone in the LGBTQ community.  He also sees nothing wrong with assaulting women as he's rich and powerful and that makes it ok.  And this is the president America would rather have than a qualified and educated woman.

On to a different topic as that just makes me mad/sick when I think about it.

Okay, now on the book front it's been a much more exciting month.  I have once again given in to temptation and bought waaaay too many books online.  I've already received a chunk of them, but there are still 16 books I'm waiting for in the mail - sixteen!  How did this happen?  Okay, I know how it happened, but where did my self control go?  Obviously it's been on an extended vacation somewhere... most likely on Harmony playing with the dust bunnies.

So to help me curb my over enthusiasm of late, here is a list of what I've bought (and still waiting for!) so that I can look at it when I feel the urge to splurge...

Evelina, Howards End, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Far From the Madding Crowd, Vanity Fair, Tom Jones, Ethan Frome, Wives and Daughters, Doctor Thorne, The Small House at Allington, The Warden, The Way of All Flesh, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Night Walks, Conspicuous Consumption, Heart of Obsidian, The Arsene Lupin Omnibus, Melmoth the Wanderer, A Natural History of Dragons, The Castle of Otranto, In A Glass Darkly, Christine, The Magicians Guild, Cast in Flight, The Burning Lamp, Archangel's Heart, The Eyes of the Dragon,  The Name of the Wind, Making It Up As I Go Along, Maskerade, Moving Pictures, The Mystery Woman, and finally The Dragon Griaule, not to mention the 10 or so books I've picked up from the local thrift shops!

And that is only back over what I've bought since the 14th of last month!  I've recently had a real thing for Penguin English Library books as you can probably tell from the list above (titles in blue).  Most of them are for next years reading challenge I'll be setting for myself, and I'll be starting to collect a few of the Penguin Great Ideas as well, again for another challenge.

When all my books are in I'll have to put them all on a table somewhere and take a group picture, so to speak, just to show you the actual size of my recent bookmail.  Where the hell am I going to fit all of these books?  Looks like I'll just have to buy another bookcase ;-D

Oops, just glanced out the window and it looks like there is a storm on the way so I'm going to have to quickly post this update and get off the computer.  Like I said earlier, this weather is nuts!

Until next time,

November 5, 2016

GWTW Update

Oh, where do I start with this book?  In the beginning I found the language used by the slaves, talking about other slaves as well as the poor white folks, to be offputting to say the least.  And Scarlett?  She is such a manipulative, conniving, schemer that I really did have to pull myself up at times when I would go off on a tangent about her behaviour.  Little Miss Hot-pants is only 16 years old.  Marriage fodder during those times, but still... not sure what to think of her as a person.  Scarlett's almost pathological need to be the centre of attention - the prettiest girl in the county, having the tiniest waist, having all the men attend to her - just got annoying.  By the third chapter I was ready to consider that perhaps GWTW was not the novel for me and DNF it and move on.

But then I realised that Rhett still hadn't blessed us with his presence, and I was itching to find out what would happen when Scarlett finally did get her face-to-face meeting with Ashley Wilkes.  Oh, it was glorious!  Not only did she burn her bridges there (she slapped him but good!), but she found out what the other girls thought of her, and the old saying that eavesdroppers never hear any good was definitely true in Scarlett's case.  Mortified and humiliated, she nearly did a runner, but instead made a far worse choice when she happened to come across Charles Hamilton (a suitor of her sisters, or friend?) and he asks her to marry him, and she says yes on a whim.

Now, two chapters was all I was going to read last night, but on discovering this little nugget I couldn't help but continue.  What happens next made me feel sorry for Charles, and Wade - trying not to spoil stuff here - and Scarlett's attitude towards Wade didn't endear her to me at all.  I might have felt sympathy for her after she get's that letter regarding the death of Charles, but her uncaring attitude and emotional detachment is just hard to understand.

So I ended up finishing Part One of GWTW in my quest to find out what happened.  Hopefully Part Two will be a little more compelling and less involved in backstories (such as the 21 pages on Gerald and Ellen's lives, and then how Gerald and Ellen met and married was just waaaay too long.  Three pages would have sufficed!).

Thinking about how much I disliked the book to start with, I will give Margaret Mitchell credit for creating a character that you know is bad news, and will create havoc in peoples lives, and yet you still want to continue reading - even if it is only to see it all blow up in their face, which my motivation for reading.

Progress as of this morning.  I'm nearly out of tabs, people! ;-D


It's now Saturday, 5th November, and before I upload this post I wanted to let you know what's been going on in my reading battle with GWTW.

Yesterday I read about 50 or so pages, and I was feeling okay about the story.  The war was still ongoing, more men that Scarlett had known from childhood were being called up to fight - even as the General was retreating more land to the Union - and Scarlett had suffered the loss of the Tarleton boys.  Rhett was being a pain, and had ostracized nearly all of polite society in Atlanta.

Then I woke up early this morning, and by the time it was light enough to read I thought I'd only finish the next chapter and be done.  But noooo, I read until 9:38am (about 4 and a bit hours), and am now on p.522.  Scarlett has returned to Tara only to find her world turned upside down.  Her beloved mother is gone, and she is now in charge of Tara, fighting to keep mouths fed, and prepare for the future.  Rhett has been MIA for over a year (I think), and Melly has had her baby, Ashley finally returned, and once again Scarlett has tried to get him to admit that he loves her - only for him to admit it and rebuff her advances.

This, of course, threw Scarlett into another tissy of sorts.  It couldn't have come at a worse time since exorbitant taxes have been levied against Tara, and the 'white trash' daughter of the family that gave Typhoid to the O'Hara's has come calling with her husband (Tara's former overseer who was fired) and they make trouble.  Scarlett, in a real mood now, decides in a moment of madness that she just needs a man with money to fix the problem.  So with a new goal in site, Scarlett is determined to marry Rhett (once she finds him) in order to save Tara.

I had to stop here because I could see another doomed marriage on the horizon - and not to Rhett I'd wager! - as Scarlett soldier's forth in her battle to save her beloved home.  In the meantime, Ashley is having pangs of guilt at the thought that he's driven her to this - like he drove her into Charles arms - and I don't know if he and Melly, and the still nameless son, will even stay at this point, or move on?

I'm curious to know what happens - and how she can screw up her life so royally at times, and I think that this book is growing on me as I am starting to want to read ahead, follow Scarlett on her disasterous journey into the post-civil war years - and yet I still don't like her!  But I can understand why this was adapted for film as it is promising to be an epic story.

So those are my thoughts on GWTW.  I'd like to know what you thought of Scarlett?  Let me know in the comments ;-D

Until next time,

November 1, 2016

Archangel's Heart here!

So I had planned on rereading A Discovery of Witches today, in honour of Halloween and all, but when I walked up to the post office to get my mail, there it was - one of my most anticipated releases of 2016, Archangel's Heart!

My fingers were itching to open this puppy and start reading, but I managed to curb my excitement until I got home... and here I remained until I finished the book about 2 hours ago.

I loved it!  Even though it wasn't a long book (only about 381p.), I flew through it as I wanted to know if Elena uncovered the truth about the vampire in her lineage.  This is the story I've most anticipated ever since it was mentioned in Archangel's Consort.

The story was great, the characters were both amazing - even the baddies - and I now have to wait at least another 10 months for more.

Will definitely be doing a review once I've had a day or two to think about it, so be sure to check in again soon for that.

Hope your Halloween reading was as much fun as mine, and until next time,

October 30, 2016

October Wrap-up

October has been a good reading month.  

As you know, I started Gone With The Wind earlier this month.  While I don't read it every day, I have made a little bit of progress and am 152 pages into this behemoth.  If you want to know what my thoughts are so far CLICK HERE.  I will say that if I had the option, I would have prefered to read this with a book buddy.

While I have added GWTW to my Goodreads list, I have not added any of the Arcane Society and Rainshadow Island series books I've been devouring to the list.  Why?  Because I decided that I would only add new books to my Goodreads Challenge otherwise I would be forever adding and updating progress on the numerous books I reread every month.  I am a huge rereader, and love to go back into the worlds, with characters I enjoy - who have fun adventures.  For some reason October has been the month of the Jayne Ann Krentz (aka Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle) marathon.  I find these books to be quick, fast paced and fun - especially the books set on Harmony as I adore those fuzzy little dust bunnies!

Then there is this months book purchase extravaganza.  Yes, I spent waaay too much money at Book Depository this month.  I'm still waiting for about 10 books to come in the mail - yes, 10! - and have already received another 13 in the post since the start of the month (I hadn't counted until now!), as well as bought a further 4 books at my local Big W (only place to buy new books in town), and 6 used books.

OMG, I am a complete and total book tart!

Please let me know in the comments what your most extravagant book month was (so I don't feel like it's only me who does this!) ;-D

Until next time,

October 13, 2016

GWTW: problems already

Last night I finally picked up Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and let me tell you that even though I've only read the first chapter, I foresee stormy reading weather ahead.

Yes, only 21 pages in (in my edition), and yet to start chapter 2, and I am surprised to say that I'm not sure if I'll be finishing this book.  I don't think I've ever said that before - at least not so soon - about a book.  So far the characters, Scarlet, Stuart and Brent, are all insufferable, and the twins 'darkie' body-servant, Jeems, is just as biggoted as his white masters in the way he looks down his nose at the slaves from smaller landholders.  

While I was prepared to dislike Scarlet, the fact that I'm only just starting this book and actively disliking the characters, the stereotypes, and the language (see above quote) as well as the tone used does not bode well for completing this massive story before the end of the year.

I know some people love this book, and I'm hoping that once I get a few chapters in, and become used to the rhythm of the text, that the story will improve enough that I can enjoy parts of it.  However I'm not holding my breathe!  I know that in Mitchell's time that segregation was still a huge issue, and the Civil War was still within living memory, but fast forward 80 years and the sensibilities of many people is a total 180° to those held by the majority a century ago.

I just don't know.  So these are my first impressions of Gone With The Wind.  Let me know in the comments whether you loved it - or not? - and why.  I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks about this book and it's themes and use of language.

Until nex time,

October 9, 2016

Done! At Betram's Hotel

Unlike most months where I procrastinate about starting my Miss Marple title, I actually picked it up on the 1st, and had it finished by the 2nd of October!  Shocking, I know ;-D

I was really surprised that I found this book better than the adaptations, as the final three books in the Miss Marple series are not generally the TV adaptations I go to when I need a Miss Marple fix.  This gives me hope that the final two books, Nemesis and The Sleeping Murder, will not be boring, or annoying (as I found The Murder at the Vicarage to be!).

Since I'm still not spending much time online (this is only the third time I've booted up the computer since I moved!) it will be a while before I begin to post a few reviews on what I've been reading for the past couple of weeks.  Fingers crossed that I can upload something else in the next week or so.

So until next time, my lovelies...

October 2, 2016

It can't be October already!

Seriously, I can't have been in this house for almost a month!  There are still boxes stored in the garage and stuff spread out throughout the house with only a vauge idea of where they will finally go - and I'm freaking out about the hours of unboxing and decorating that need to be done before Christmas.  So with that deadline foremost in mind, I fired up the desktop and put on a movie and spent most of this morning in the spare room trying to bring a little bit of order to what will be the 'library' and sewing room.  It was so messy that I nearly twisted my ankle trying to get past the boxes that had been conveniently dropped just past the door and forgotten.  It's now nearly 1pm and I'm quiting for the day so I can go grab some lunch and either continue reading my October Miss Marple, At Bertrams, or (most likely) whack in a season of The Vampire Diaries and veg out for the rest of the afternoon.

Looking out over the farmland behind my place!

On the reading front, I finished my September Miss Marple in a few hours.  Enjoyed it more that I thought I would, but I can't believe how much the Miss Marple TV adaptations play fast and loose with the source material.  I'm down to my final three books for the year, and while some books were adapted quite closely - others... only vaguely.  Hopefully in the future the BBC will remake all the Marples in the style of And Then There Were None as that was beautifully designed and filmed.

Apart from these two Agatha Chrisite's, I have only started reading the All Souls Trilogy as October means Halloween Reads is back on again.  Like the LOTR trilogy for fantasy fans, I think this has become a yearly reread around this time of year.  I love the way the story unfolds over the trilogy, and while I don't think it ended with all my questions answered, I do love reading A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night.

Couldn't resist these gorgeous Halloween Jack-o-antern lights!

Luckily my first lot of Book Depository orders have arrived at the new address.  One is a bind up of the first two Aunt Dimity books that I ordered last month only to have the order cancelled and refunded as they were out of stock of this very book.  However, when I saw it recently I ordered it again and managed to get a copy! (It's now out of stock again).  The final book in the Kylie Chan series arrived as well, can't believe that Black Jade is the final time we'll see these characters.  Thankfully there are nine books in the series that I can reread any time I get the urge to see Emma and Xuan Wu, but still, I'll miss them.

Still having trouble finding all the books I'd like to read soon as the bookshelves are a total mess (and I won't be unpacking any more 'book' boxes until I get the current mess under control), so I'll go with whatever strike the Halloween spirit in me.

Until next time, 

September 20, 2016

All moved in

Already on my way to the new house (8th September, 2016)

I am finally in my new home.  I can't tell you how amazing it is to be in a nice quiet neighbourhood where the only noise I wake up with is the chorus of birds each morning.  Bliss...

However, moving day was a bitch.  I took two carloads of stuff up before the movers were due (stopped to take a pic of the sunrise as it was amazing!) and felt like a wrung out washcloth before the morning was over.  The movers took forever to get all my stuff boxed up and loaded.  Unloading was by far the quickest job, but the carport was wall-to-wall boxes with only a narrow path to navigate through.  How did I end up with so much stuff?!  By the time they finished unloading all my stuff, they had been on the road for over 11 hours!  They had stopped by my childhood home first to pick up my huge bookcase, as well as the old piano (and 2 couches), but even after they were done they still had a 2½ to 3 hour trip back to look forward to.  However, they were great.  No breakages, no lost items.  Just a lot of hard work and friendly conversations.

It's now over a week and a half later and I am still swimming in boxes.  Empty boxes, full boxes, half dug through boxes.  It will be a red letter day when I finally have the last of the unboxing done.  Thankfully the very nice Telstra man who fixed my landline was also moving soon and was happy to take any boxes that we left out for him.  Yeah!  I don't have to figure out what to do with a gazillion empty boxes ;-D  But when I get to that final box, perhaps I'll set it on fire?  I'll just have to wait and see. 

So while the house is slowly being whipped into a semblance of order, the yard is another story.  It's getting so unkept looking already.  It has bucketed down rain at least every second day since I've been here - which would be great under other circumstances - but I only just got a lawn mower (didn't need that in a unit!), so I need to wait for the ground to dry out a bit before I head on out to cut the jungle that is my front lawn.  Ah, the joys of being a homeowner ;-D

On the reading front, since I'm still unboxing, my bookshelves look like a train wreck.  I have my three big bookcases spread throughout the house.  Will be splitting the books up into genres I think so that I can just go to a bookcase when the mood strikes.  Discovered I need to buy a slender tall set of bookshelves to house my classics as they take up too much space on my big bookcase, but there are too many of them for one of my smaller bookcases.  Would have loved to put all my books in the one room, but they just wouldn't fit.  Bummer... oh well, a problem for another day.

My first bookmail arrived to the new address and while I still need to read my newly purchased title for my September Miss Marple challenge, A Caribbean Mystery, the move has put my 'A Classic a Month' challenge on hold.  Still, 10 classics during the year is nothing to sneeze at either.

Hopefully the weather will sort itself out soon, and I can post some book pics from around the garden for IG.  I really miss not being able to just snap a couple of pics when the mood strikes.  Finger's crossed that I can get back into the swing of things soon - once this whole moving mess is sorted out ;-D

Until next time,

August 30, 2016

Quick update

Sorry for the lack of posts, but moving is a real time suck.  My current place is a mess and I have stuff everywhere, and I've almost finished organizing all the annoying details like new address notifications to the million and one businesses, government departments, or social clubs as well as arranging for utilities at the new house.  Can't wait until its all over and I can sit back and relax with a book on the deck with a glass of something yummy while I listen to the sounds of silence (aka, no noisy neighbours!).

Read quite a few books over the last couple of weeks.  At least one good thing about moving is that you uncover books that you'd forgotten you even owned.

Anyway, until the move is over - and I'm connected to the internet again - I think this will be my last blog post (though I'll still be posting Instagram pics).

Can't wait to post some pics from the new house!

Until then,

August 7, 2016

Friday sucked

I bought this on Friday afternoon, desperately trying to find something to distract myself from the decision to let my furry old friend, Titchy, go.  My mother and aunt took her home with them - and to their lovely vet.  So, after bawling for about an hour, I pulled myself back together and went back to our small local shopping centre and picked up a copy of Nevernight (which I had eyed off earlier in the day).

Unfortunately I didn't, and still don't, really feel like picking up a book.  I've been binge watching multiple seasons of The Murdoch Mysteries, and snuggling up to my remaining furry buddies.  Will try to get to it after I move into my new house next month.  In the mean time I need to avoid all the spoiler reviews!

Also, isn't the cover art beautiful!  Love how the artwork wraps around the whole book.  Reminds me of the artwork of Kerby Rosanes (that gorgeous and quirky adult colouring book, Animorphia).

Let me know in the comments what you thought of Nevernight.  Did you enjoyed it, or perhaps not.  But please, no spoilers!

Thanks, and until next time...

House update

Okay, we have now passed the 'cooling off' period, and the house is officially listed as UNDER CONTRACT!  Had a mini freak out when the bank would not let the money out of the account when we wanted it (had to wait 31 days!), but it's been sorted out and we have a new date for closure.  Thankfully there were no existing plans in place in regards to movers,  and we can now arrange them - as well as organize the other million and one details associated with moving - accordingly. 

Can't wait to get into this home and finally set up my own library and sewing room!

I am already falling into the trap of mentally planting the gardens, and arranging the furniture, and I know I shouldn't do this until I get the keys in my hands as anything could go wrong in the next couple of weeks.  But, my fingers are crossed oh, so tightly because I think this house is just what I am looking for - and I want to be moved in by this time next month!

In the meantime, there is not much happening on the reading front.  I will try to get to my August Miss Marple, The Mirror Crack'd, read, but realistically that will probably be the only book I consume this month as trying to organize and sort through all the stuff to pack, as well as cleaning and doing the usual household chores, is really kicking my butt at the moment.  My poor wrists (and now my back) are very sore at the moment, pins and needles all through it, which means that I'm only going to do a few small jobs today.  No point in pushing it and being totally out of commission.

Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well.  I'll update my move as it gets closer.

Until next time,

July 31, 2016

Did we really just buy a house?

image source: Shutterstock

Yes, I think we really did!  

Went to see the property on Friday morning, we loved it, and had a contract signed by morning tea.  So, for the next couple of weeks I'm going to be on tender hooks, waiting for the day I can pick up the key and move away from my noisy neighbours from hell!

We're now waiting for the pest and building inspections to be completed (fingers crossed), then we have a couple of weeks for the contract to go through, but if all goes to plan I'll soon be posting pics - here and on IG - from my new house!  I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this.

At odd times of the day - and night - it pops into my head and I begin mentally placing furniture, what plants go where, how the garden might one day look.  I can also begin to plan for some places to take my book-ish photographs in as well.  {hint: there is a huge expanse of small plants growing on farmland behind my block so I expect some amazing sunset inspired pics}

I still feel like it's not real.  I just can't believe it's happening.  Again, so excited.  Really looking forward to giving notice to my landlord and escaping the rental rat-race for my own little ¼ acre piece of paradise!

So until this is all sorted out, I don't think I'll have much time to sit down and read, or blog.  Will be spending hours just sorting through and boxing up my 3 large (and 3 smaller) bookcases for the move as well as organizing all the other thousand and one details that also need to be attended to when one moves.

It's really happening!  Somebody, just pinch me! 🏡

Until next time,