My weekly…um monthly…um semi-annual…update

September 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm 10 comments

Well, yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve done a “weekly” update, hasn’t it? <g>

On the personal front, the kid is back in school, and we are now in the midst of soccer season. Twice weekly practice, and weekly games make it a big part of our week. Things are pretty hectic, what with making sure soccer clothes are clean, and homework is done before practice. But, once we’re at the park, it’s all fun and games. :-)

Things are also going to get crazier yet, since next week I will be having surgery to remove my gall bladder. I’ve been told it’s a minor out-patient surgery, so I’m hoping I’ll bounce back relatively quickly. And, if nothing else, it’ll serve as a great excuse to spend the following week reading and relaxing. (Hey, I’ve got to take my opportunities where I can!)

Can you believe, that after almost a year of living in our place, we finally unpacked our books a couple of weeks ago? We’d been waiting for some furniture changes in our office, and I really didn’t want to have to move the books once they were unpacked. Our furniture situation was finally resolved, and there were no more excuses. And, while we did have to move the graphic novels over to the shelves that hold the comic book boxes—yes, we have custom shelving for the comic book boxes, can you get any geekier?— we were able to fit all of our fiction onto one wall, filled with bookcases.bookcases

Let me tell you, there is nothing more goofy than 2 Lit majors arguing over how to shelve books. If you were a fly on our wall, you’d have heard questions like:

  • Honey, should I put the Asian lit together with the Asian American lit? (Answer: a quick vehement NO)
  • Does Balzac’s Seraphita go on the European lit shelf or on the literary criticism shelf? (Answer: a ridiculously long debate that ended in putting it on the lit crit shelf)
  • Should Octavia Butler’s books be classified as contemporary fantasy or sci-fi? (Answer: a still debatable sci-fi shelving)

I have to say that my guy and I thoroughly enjoyed the day organizing our books. And, I actually spent an additional morning just playing among my bookcases (the 2 on the left, pictured here, and my other small “imminently tbr” in my bedroom). It felt so satisfying getting things organized and cleared up. We now even have additional guest sleeping space in the office, as well as a comfy reading nook, just for me!

Killing FloorI’ve just finished listening to Killing Floor by Lee Child. I don’t often read suspense-thrillers, but I’d heard so many good things about the Jack Reacher series, I thought I’d give it a go. It was a fun, pulpy read. Jack Reacher’s character made the book stand out. He really reminds me of Clint Eastwood’s “Man with No Name” character in the Sergio Leone movies. I’m still mourning the fact that Tom Cruise has been cast in the Jack Reacher role for an upcoming movie. You know. The 6’5″ 250lb  ex-military policeman. *headdesk* (This fact was broken to me on Twitter during a highly amusing and very depressing conversation with @younglibrarian@SonomaLass@cjewel, and @MeganMulry.)

This past weekend, I also read Pharaoh’s Concubine by ZA Maxfield and The Tempering of Men by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear. Both were excellent reads. Here’s a couple of mini-reviews I did for them over at Goodreads:

Pharaoh's ConcubinePharaoh’s Concubine by ZA Maxfield:

I really liked this romantic suspense. It put me in mind of Jane Seville’s Zero at the Bone and Brooke McKinley’s Shades of Gray.

Dylan and William go on the run, to prevent Dylan’s mobster lover from killing William in retaliation for a botched kidnapping attempt on Dylan. There’s lots of suspense and angst. Dylan’s character grows so much through the story, as he makes peace with his past and reunites with some of his family. I loved Williams low-key intensity, and his ability to see through Dylan’s pretty-boy image, and into his heart.

The Tempering of MenThe Tempering of Men by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear:

A wonderful visit back to the Iskryne world. It’s such a fascinating civilization. I love what Monette/Bear do with the sexual politics and gender roles. Yet while those issues never overtake the story itself, they greatly inform the plot and culture. Vethulf and Skjaldwulf’s stories really shed a lot of light on their characters. It was great to learn more about them, and their relationship dynamics are so interesting. I found myself reading slower and slower as the book progressed, so I could stretch out the story. It’s going to be tough waiting till 2013 for book 3 of the series. The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars is because I was so disappointed that Isolfr was such a peripheral character. I really missed him.

Song of Scarabaeus

I’m currently reading Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy. I’ve heard so much buzz about this sci-fi romance, and was thrilled to find it when I went to the Borders closing sale in Rancho Cucamonga. I really like the originality of the world, and Finn and Edie’s relationship. I’m already planning on reading book 2, Children of Scarabaeus.Hellbent

I’ve also started Cherie Priest’s Hellbent in in audio. I really enjoyed the first in the Cheshire Red series, and though the narrator sounds a little too smirky at times, the narration is mostly well done.The story itself is really good, and I like how Raylene, despite her desire to be a tough cookie, keeps finding herself taking care of those around her.

Later this week, I’m hoping to get to Midnight by Ellen Connor, Good Girls Don’t by Victoria Dahl.

So, that’s what’s been going on with me. What’s been going on with you? Read any good books lately?

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September 2011 Book Releases, part 1 Support Sarah!

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ~ames~  |  September 14, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I hope your surgery goes well next week and you recover fast. :P

    I love moving my books around and spending quality time with them. I’m such a nerd. LOL But it would have been interesting to hear the discussion between you and your husband.

    I really enjoyed Zero at the Bone and Shades of Gray so I’m definitely going to check out Pharoah’s Concubine.

    Reply
    • 2. Renee  |  September 15, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Thanks, Ames. :-)

      It’s hard not to just sit up there and “visit” with my books. Every so often I heard us discussing and had to think, “I’m so blogging this!” lol

      Yes! It was that mob/crime element with two guys on the run. I think I’m beginning to find a new favorite storyline…

      Reply
  • 3. Leslie  |  September 14, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Here’s hoping for a quick recovery and some good reads while you’re recovering. :)

    I’m so jealous you have all your books in one spot and a reading nook. I love sorting through my books and usually find ones that I forgot I had. LOL

    Reply
    • 4. Renee  |  September 15, 2011 at 8:42 am

      Thanks, Leslie! I’m already planning my reading list for the last week of Sept. ;-)

      Yeah, I’m pretty excited about the prospect of being able to slip away and read up there.

      Yes! It totally prompted a re-organization of my “imminently tbr” in my bedroom, since I rediscovered so many upstairs.

      Reply
  • 5. Chris  |  September 15, 2011 at 6:22 am

    LOL about the book shelving! I have Pharaoh’s Concubine to read soonishly…

    Good luck on the surgery! Wow, outpatient?! That’s a surgery that’s changed a LOT since my mom had it down some 30 years ago…

    Reply
    • 6. Renee  |  September 15, 2011 at 8:45 am

      I hope you’ll enjoy Pharaoh’s Concubine as much as I did, Chris!

      Yeah, it’s laparoscopic, so that’s why they can do it outpatient, I think. My GI dr said to expect 7-10 day recovery, which I gather ty a bit longer than typical, but idk if that’s because my Crohn’s complicates it.

      Thanks, Chris. :-)

      Reply
  • 7. Holly  |  September 15, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I’ll be praying for a speedy recovery. I remember the first day for me was mostly passed in a blurry haze, but by day 3 I was mostly recovered (though a bit sore). Keep me posted.

    I’m loving your shelves. It makes me want to go and play with my books (something I desperately need to do again anyway..they’re an unorganized mess again).

    Reply
    • 8. Renee  |  September 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

      lol. Especially, after we raided them. Actually, between the swap from Ames’ visit and going to Borders the day before, that resulted in even more re-organizing. But, it always feels like time well spent.
      Thanks, Holly. I’m hoping some of this down-time will result in more posts/reviews, as well as reading. This muti-part-time job with only occasional daycare has been wearing.

      Reply
  • 9. bookdaze  |  September 18, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Good to hear from you, Renee! Good luck with the surgery, hope it goes smoothly. I love your new shelves (so much space *jealous*) and yeah, totally with you on the Tom Cruise as Reacher news.

    Li

    Reply
  • 10. orannia  |  September 19, 2011 at 2:33 am

    (((Renee))) All the best for the surgery.

    I can’t believe Tom Cruise has been cast as Jack Reacher. What happened to Viggo Mortensen? Or…anyone else? *heads desk* I wonder what the author thinks? I won’t be going to see the movie.

    Reply

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