Ha. As is the case with every single readathon I join, I feel like it hit a week in which I was completely out of the reading loop. But I’ve read about a thousand pages, which is really not a poor score, if I were keeping score, which I’m obviously not, because… no one’s handing out points or punishments anyway? Silly thinkflaws.
One of the things I’ve read was the 50 page preview of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted that was posted on Scribd. I loved it, and I’d say almost for certain I’d continue it immediately upon release in two days, but it shares release date with Stephenson’s Seveneves! I don’t know how I’m supposed to choose. And I still have a few scheduled reads to get through this month. Anyway, Uprooted was easily added to the pile of kindle birthday presents I’ve been getting for myself today. Because I’m old and stuff. Here’s the full list of the books I deserve for the grand achievement of continuous existence for three decades:
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik
- Memory of water by Emmi Itäranta
- Vermilion by Molly Tanzer
Those are it, so far. Clearly insufficient. I must add to it. Just having a weird moment of “No rush, I guess?”. I have a Norwegian e-library book to read and I’m a few hundred pages into Naam’s Apex, which is great. I would have liked to choose to spend my birthday going to the cinema for Mad Max, but this day happens to also be an inconvenient constitution kind of day, which means other entertainment venues are closed, and people like me stay at home and order Domino’s and watch netflix. Or play animal crossing. Whatever.
Glancing at my amazon wish list…
Oh, dear. Nemesis games is out in just a couple of weeks? To the pre-order-mobile, then! I love the Expanse universe so much – I raved about it until my boyfriend got into it too, and now we’re both very anxiously anticipating the TV series. It has a lot to live up to, I guess, because I compared the first book to, like, third season Babylon 5. Just awesome space opera pathos with clear characters and strong character interactions – I know a lot of people might think Firefly a better comparison. Amos is one of my favourite characters ever. I’ve been a bit ARC-fatigued lately and I really can’t think of anything more refreshing right now than another installment of this series. So there. Ordered!
It’s past midnight, too! Happy not-birthday, me!
I’m always stumped when there are questions about favourite books and characters and stuff, because… it’s kind of fluid stuff, to me, maybe? I always have to think hard. Unless…
…Okay. I know. For the character face-off, these two will go to battle:
Greebo, Nanny Ogg’s cat (Terry Pratchett’s Discworld)
Mister, Harry Dresden’s cat (Jim Butcher’s Dresden files)
See? I like cats. Cats are favourites, no matter the context. These two are large cats.
Let’s have a look at them, then.
Contestant #1: Greebo
WHO: A cranky, grey, one-eyed tomcat.
Greebo had spent an irritating two minutes in that box. Technically, a cat locked in a box may be alive or it may be dead. You never know until you look. In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.
CONS: A certain inferiority complex regarding Granny Weatherwax’s white kitten. Greebo might possibly be a demon, according to Nanny Ogg, but she will insist he’s just a sweet kitten, even so.
PROS: Due to a magic mishap, Greebo’s phenotype is unstable and he has morphed into a human on a few occasions. I don’t want to hang out with the human as much as I want to hang out with the cat, but he’s pretty awesome.
Contestant #2: Mister
WHO: 30 pounds of grey cat, adopted by the wizard Harry Dresden. Has no tail. Likes to smash his full weight against unsuspecting human knees.
CONS: Uh. For a while he had to tolerate sharing his domain with a large temple dog. Also, not nearly enough stage time in the books.
PROS: When Harry Dresden uses his wizard’s sight on someone, he usually sees something very different from what normal sight would provide. However, Mister is unique: He is exactly the same no matter what sight is employed. Also, he sometimes works as a vessel for Bob the spirit.
You know what? NO ONE can win this. If these cats were going to face off for some reason, and their humans found out? Those are crazy magic-wielding humans. It’d be instant apocalypse. Instant interdimensional or intergalactic apocalypse! (Depending on where exactly the Discworld is relating to Chicago, of course.) Imagine those two armies – Mister, flanked by Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy and vampires and council wizards and holy knights and probably mafioso Marcone for some reason, facing off against Greebo, Nanny Ogg, and Granny Weatherwax, because Granny would come just to disapprove of things, and she would disapprove, and the world would END.
So let’s pretend the two megacats just for some reason shared a basked and some catnip instead, and spent the evening grooming each other lazily. The real winner is the person who owns the youtube channel they’re on.
I could totally get hours of daydreams out of this.
(I grew up around cats like these. I was raised by a ginger-furred Greebo, who tried to kill me until he decided he could use me. It was a happy relationship. The current Mister in my life lives with my parents, is only about half the weight of Dresden’s cat, but that’s heavy enough to knock me over when he decides I’m the one person in the world who is considered headbuttable. Okay. I just talked about cats. This keeps happening.)
I had forgotten the read-a-thon started today! But then I remembered! And here I am, doing today’s challenge, which is a bookish survey.
1. How do you organize your shelves?
…I don’t! I just don’t have room for organization. Not in my book shelves, at least. I have a huge digital book collection which is also left mostly unorganized – all I really do is sort them into “finished reads” as I go along. To me, organization is much less of a necessity when you have a decent search function. Of course, if I couldn’t just type a part of a title or author’s name and press find it for me please and watch the magic happen, I’d have to employ some organization scheme – but, well. I live in the future! Yay, future.
2. What is one of your favorite book that’s not in one of your favorite genres?
Huh. Two titles come to mind – they’re both realistic YA fiction, which makes me wonder if maybe that’s a genre I like better than I think I do, but… I’m running with it.
There’s On the Jellicoe road by Melina Marchetta, which has stayed in my head since I read it, re-appearing every once in a while to say hello, yes, story still here. Kinda like the movie Now and then, which has a few similar traits, being a coming-of-age friendship type of thing. I watched that movie eating popcorn with a school friend and her mom, and I read the book by myself in my bed as an adult, but, uh, I remember both of these times as lovely because of story immersion. So that’s… that.
The other book is I miss you, I miss you! by Peter Pohl and Kinna Gieth. It’s about teenaged twin sisters, who aren’t exactly best friends, and that would be okay, except Cilla gets hit by that car and dies, while Tina lives. This Swedish book came my way through a book club when I was… younger than the main characters, so, basically, a hundred years ago. I’ve only ever read it in Norwegian, but I expect it to be exactly as heartbreaking in English.
My gut reaction to the genre “realistic YA” is, I admit, “embarrassing and likely not terribly interesting to me”. In the hands of the right kind of writer, though, I believe any genre can impress me.
3. What is the last 5 star book you read?
Rolling in the deep by Mira Grant. I’m such a fangirl. And it’s a perfect silly-horror with deep ocean creepiness, which is always delightful.
4. What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon?
I’m going to finish my currents, and then I’m biting into Ramez Naam’s Apex. In recent weeks I’ve read Nexus and Crux, and I’m very, very impatient to see how this goes. I’m also pretty excited to read this big, tasty book about the black death. Mmm, plague.
5. What book do you recommend the most?
That is such an impossible question, because it depends entirely on who I’m making a recommendation to. But two recs I often make to a lot of people are Charles Stross’ The Laundry series, because they’re clever and funny books that are perhaps especially amusing to programmers and IT people (but that doesn’t exclude other kinds of people) – and Peter Watts’ Blindsight and Echopraxia. Those two books are… so dense, so packed with intensely interesting things, and so glittery dark, it’s just hard to say anything coherent about without a lot of arm-flailing. And to non-fic pop sciencey kind of readers, I often mention The storytelling animal, which is a crazy and inspiring and educational book.
So there. I was interrupted while writing this. An episode of Daredevil and a coffee mocha happened to me. When I say mocha I mean “One regular coffee pod with two heaping teaspoons of pure cacao powder, a glug of full-fat cream, and some vanilla stevia. It was delicious. And Daredevil is a lot better in the second-to-last episode than it was in the second one. Just saying. Now I go try to finish reading Dreams of shreds and tatters even though I’d really much rather read Crowley’s Little, big. Life is hard.
Oh, man, my eyes hurt. Maybe the whole sinus-jaw-mess of things. I’m not even looking at the screen right now, just squinting and waiting for the hot shower and caffeine and everything to do their jobs and grant me access to my face.
It’s springtime, I guess!
And I’m doing my first stacking the shelves-post, because… because I like reading them when other people cause them to pop up in my bloglovin feed.
Um, yeah. Kindle purchases this week:
- Kazuo Ishiguro’s The buried giant
- J.J. Adams (editor) The end is nigh
- David Wellington’s Positive
- Monica Byrne’s The girl in the road
- V.E. Schwab’s A darker shade of magic
- Nancy Kress’ After the fall, before the fall, during the fall
- J.J. Adams (editor) Wastelands: Stories of the apocalypse
- Flannery O’Connor’s The complete stories
- M. John Harrison’s Viriconium
- Dave Hutchinson’s Europe in autumn
And I got Peter Newman’s The Vagrant as an audiobook, too.
In my defense for this week – my boyfriend did a little shopping spree. We share living space and libraries and have 98% overlap in reading preferences, so it really does count as stacking my shelves. He also got the kindle edition of The girl with all the gifts, because he doesn’t do audio, which was the format I already had it in. (And it happens to be one of my favourite audio recordings, too. Excellent narrator!)
Almost forgot – I pre-ordered Seveneves this week too. I’m so impatient for this book, it’s ridiculous…!
(I just deleted a chunky paragraph where I ranted about cost of digital English-language books vs, uh, non-digital non-English books. And it’s just blah. It’s hard to stop instinctively going defensive about frivolous purchases, actually. But there’s nothing to defend, so I’m exercising some messy self-cognitive-therapy-blablahAHAMWAHA BOOKS I SHALL HAVE MORE BOOKS.)
I post booksy stuff on instagram, sometimes. But as it’s a personal account, I also post food and basically anything I want to, so I’m not going to invite you to follow me for any special bookish reason. Thought I’d try to share some of the relevant things in a post, though!
Ha. The grimy fingernails there, it’s dried watercolour paint. I’m a mess. Do you put what you’re reading on instagram?