Readathon: Character face-off

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.


Um, yeah.


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.

You know?

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.)


Readathon: Bookish survey

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.

imissyou2. 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.

jellicoeThere’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.


March 2015 Take Control Of Your TBR Pile Challenge

The challenge is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer
The challenge is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Another monthly reading challenge! I have a terrible record with these things, but I can at least state loudly that I want to delve into exisiting TBRs in March.

I’ll also say this, though, because it’s on my mind a lot lately:  I refuse to feel bad about acquiring/stockpiling/collecting more books than I can read in any timely manner. It brings me pleasure to have them.  To know they’re there for me. Mostly I choose e-books, for many reasons (it is mostly to do with built-in reading light and one-handed book grip and dysfunctional wrists, actually – and shelf space) – but yesterday, for example, I chose to purchase an old hardback from the library flea market table while I was there to pick up my long-awaited Ms Marvel.

But I like this March mission. I’ll try to get my imminent ARCs out of the way this month, and then devote myself to who-knows-what in my unread piles.  So very many choices…

Make #timetoread: National Readathon Day


You’ve noticed it’s National Readathon Day, right? Right here it’s… nearly one in the morning, so that makes it today, but, anyway, Saturday. Right.  From noon to 4pm.  This has the advantage of being a readathon I will actually be able to devote attention to, unless my right eye is not just making idle threats about a migraine. Anyway.   I have minty tea, chocolate covered almonds, and… wait, is this a grumpy unicorn or a dancing hippo pajamas kind of day?  How will I ever choose?

I made one choice already, as I pledged to devote these hours to Three parts dead by Max Gladstone.  It’s a part of my monthly challenges, and I’ve owned it for a good time now, so that’s why.  I’m repeating this to myself often and loudly to drown out the sound of other overdue-for-reviews-guilt.    What will you be reading?

The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge

Not quite done talking about the coming year’s reading challenges, no! I could be typing up reviews of some recent reads, but I’m in post cheesecake exhaustion mode. They’ll come. Sooner or later.  I want to say something about doing Bookriot’s Read Harder challenge, instead.  Mainly that I’m doing it.


Most of the tasks aren’t going to be problematic for me, except… the poetry collection? I’ll need to figure out something. The “guilty pleasure” is also tricksy, really, but maybe I’ll just pick up a novelization of something Star Trek or Warcraft. I won’t feel terribly guilty, but it’ll do.  A “self improvement” book can be interpreted very liberally, but I am intrigued by one I have wishlisted because of the title How to stubbornly refuse to make yourself miserable about anything – Yes, anything! Well, you can see why. It’s likely I’ll pick a book about some skill to improve upon instead, though.

It’s just a couple of days left of 2014. It’s weird. Time is weird. Everything is. Except peanut butter fudge. Peanut butter fudge is yummy.  Do you do party things for new year’s eve, or do you, like me, hide indoors like a neurotic cat? Hiss, fireworks.

It’s the end of 2014 Read-a-thon

Read-a-thon hosted by BookingAwesome
Read-a-thon hosted by BookingAwesome

It’s the end of 2014 read-a-thon runs from December 20th to the 31st.   I’ll be spending the holidays with family for most of those days, but that usually does give me a lot of good reading time – possibly except the one day I will be travelling for hours by car, because I am not built to cope with reading in cars.  I have developed a preference for fantasy for the season – probably because of the lingering sense memory of getting up early every morning during the school vacation to watch the old BBC-produced Narnia series. Or just because fantasy settings often feel cozier than science fiction ones, even if the fantasy is pretty grim. (One year I spent the holidays with Abercrombie’s The first law-trilogy.)

That goal of reading at least 2000 pages? Doable.   Re-read a 2014 favourite? Not sure about that one.  My own, personal goal? Hm – reduce the number of pages of titles stored on my kindle by 1, at least.  (8 titles fit on one page, and I have… 20 pages. Of unreads. 160 unread books just on there.  Minus a handful of monthly subscription magazines, I guess.)

I probably want to read Robin Hobb, or Patrick Rothfuss, or Diana Wynne Jones, or all of them. Maybe get around to Gone girl, too.