September 2013

Stuff I’ve Been Reading: September 2013 Edition

  1. The Thief by Turner, Megan Whalen
  2. The Queen of Attolia by Turner, Megan Whalen
  3. The King of Attolia by Turner, Megan Whalen
  4. A Consipracy of Kings by Turner, Megan Whalen
  5. Speaking from Among the Bones by Bradley, Alan*
  6. Night Film by Pessl, Marisha
  7. Gaudy Night by Sayers, Dorothy L.
  8. Beast by Napoli, Donna Jo*
  9. Shift by Howey, Hugh
  10. The Lord of Opium by Farmer, Nancy
  11. Silesian Station by Downing, David

Italics indicate library books, asterisks indicate audiobooks, and I did not finish reading numbers six, eight, or eleven.

Of the remainder, my rereading of Turner’s brilliant series about Eugenides was easily my favorite. Gaudy Night was a noted enjoyable second place. But the four second-books I read (Night Film second book written after Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Shift the sequel to Wool, The Lord of Opium the sequel to The House of the Scorpion, and Silesian Station the sequel to Zoo Station) were all disappointments in one way or another.

And although I’m starting off October with another second book, Rose Under Fire, sequel to Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth E. Wein, I have higher hopes for this month’s books.


Library books

Much to my delight and consternation, several library books that I had placed on hold came in at the same time, which means for the first time in quite a long time (perhaps since graduate school), I will definitely have to read books in a certain order at a certain pace.

1. The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer (432 pages), the much-longed-for sequel to The House of the Scorpion, is due on 10/9 and cannot be renewed.

2. Likewise, the ILL book Silesian Station by David Downing (306 pages), the second in a six-book series, is due on 10/8 and cannot be renewed.

3. The problem is Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth E. Wein (354 pages), the sequel to Code Name Verity, which is due on 10/9 with three renewals but is practically certain to have a hold placed on it by some other heartless library patron with admittedly good taste. So I should read it soon lest it be snatched away from me.

4. Then I have three books that will be due on 10/20: Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik (431 pages), the eighth Temeraire book which I may not finish, and two young adult books that follow Elizabeth E. Wein’s The Winter Prince (each under 200 pages).

5. But my second non-renewal ILL, Thrones, Dominations by Jill Paton Walsh (310 pages), due 10/27, is a book in a series that has two books before it that I have not read. So if I want to read this one in series order, I will have to read two other 300-odd page books first.

This list is regardless of the books I have gotten from others and for myself for my birthday, which are wanting to be read but do not have time limits on them. Checking out seven books from the library at once is not excessive. It isn’t. It’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do. And if I had the leisure to do nothing but read, I could enjoy reading all seven of them in about ten days, give or take a day.

Only I have this thing called work, and I have also started a large writing project. So I will read The Lord of Opium, Silesian Station, and Rose Under Fire and see what date it is by then.

WWW Wed Sep 25

WWW Wednesdays

Hello for the second time in September. You know it’s been a long time since you blogged when WordPress makes you log back in even though the “Remember me” box is still checked.

What are you currently reading?

Shift by Hugh Howie. A birthday gift from Scotland, this book is also notable for being the sequel to Wool, which is probably going to make my top ten reads of the year. I’ve made it to part three of three, in which– but I can’t tell you anything, because everything is a spoiler. Read Wool and then read Shift. And when it comes out, read Dust, the conclusion. Yes.

What did you recently finish reading?

Goodness, several things. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers, a Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane mystery. Before that, Night Film by Marisha Pessl, which I didn’t finish because I’m not sure why. I wasn’t intrigued by the mysterious circumstances, for one. Before that, the Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. A couple of audiobook rereads. I think that brings me to the beginning of September. I’ve been reading less because I’ve been writing more.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer, which I hope to pick up from the library today or tomorrow. I don’t have a perfect memory of The House of the Scorpion, its predecessor, but Farmer is a brilliant enough author that I don’t think that will hold me back. With September on its way out, I’m worried that I don’t have enough time this year to read the things I want to read! But that’s always the case.

WWW Wed Sep 4

WWW Wednesdays

I’m reading Megan Whalen Turner’s series about Eugenides. I’m halfway through book two, so you know what I’ve just finished reading and what is coming up next.

  1. The Thief
  2. The Queen of Attolia
  3. The King of Attolia
  4. A Conspiracy of Kings

Which one is my favorite? I don’t know, I don’t know! I love them all.

August 2013

Stuff I’ve Been Reading

  1. Murder Must Advertise by Sayers, Dorothy L.
  2. Black Glass by Fowler, Karen Joy
  3. The Southern Gates of Arabia by Stark, Freya
  4. The Nine Tailors by Sayers, Dorothy L.
  5. World Made By Hand by Kunstler, James Howard
  6. Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Garcia Marquez, Gabriel
  7. An Artist of the Floating World by Ishiguro, Kazuo
  8. The Winter Prince by Wein, Elizabeth
  9. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Doyle, Arthur Conan*
  10. Unnatural Death by Sayers, Dorothy L.
  11. The Night Circus by Morgenstern, Erin
  12. Clouds of Witness by Sayers, Dorothy L.
  13. Zoo Station by Downing, David

Italics indicate library books, asterisks indicate audiobooks, and I did not finish reading number three.

It seems to have been a month of mysteries. I confess: I read four Lord Peter Wimsey novels and a John Russell thriller. The other books on the list, while very good, especially The Night Circus, were judiciously inserted between Sayers novels chiefly so that I didn’t gobble up the entire series in a month.

As I’m still reading through the stack of books I bought at the library sale or was given by my parents, I only read three library books this month. Nor do I expect that number particularly to rise during September, when I plan to reread Megan Whalen Turner’s four-book series about Eugenides, and at least two more Sayers books. I will probably also tackle Legend by Marie Lu, and, if it’s as good as I hope, I will want to read the sequel Prodigy right away. So that’s eight books already on the agenda for September, to say nothing of Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik, book eight of the Temeraire series, which I have just picked up from the library (where I have three more books on hold, eek).

Plus, September is the month of my birthday, and I anticipate gifts of books, book money, gift cards for books, or, if all else fails, self-indulgent book-buying (Shift and Dust by Hugh Howey, I’m looking at you).

I am a bibliophile, I am a bibliophile, I am a bibliophile. There are too few waking hours in the year to read all I wish to read. The end.

WWW Wed Aug 28

WWW Wednesdays

What are you currently reading?

Zoo Station by David Downing. The first in a six-book series about John Russell, this novel is set in pre-WWII Berlin. The protagonist is a journalist who wants to stay in Germany to be near his son and thus agrees to do some spying. This will be my 100th book in 2013.

What did you recently finish reading?

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers. Lord Peter Wimsey’s powers of detection are tested to the limit when his elder brother is accused of murder. This is the case that will establish his career–if he can solve it in time.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Two ancient magicians have a longstanding competition: they will raise up proteges who must compete strictly within an established venue until one is proved the victor. Celia and Marco are the proteges, and the Night Circus, the mysterious and exotic Circus of Dreams, open only from dusk to dawn, is their venue. The competition is going well until Celia and Marco fall in love and must save themselves and the circus from their own games.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Soon enough it will be due at the library, although my having learned that it is the first of a seven-book fantasy series does not, in fact, encourage me. I might very well return it unread and wait until the first three or so books have come out before taking on another series that will be a decade to complete. If I decide to wait, I might give Legend by Marie Lu a try–it’s only three books long, the second one is already available, and it comes highly recommended.


Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley. This is the fifth book of the Flavia de Luce series, which ended on such a cliffhanger!–I can hardly wait to read the sixth one, due out in January.

WWW Wed Aug 21

WWW Wednesdays

What are you currently reading?

Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers. It’s a perfect crime–an old woman dies of natural causes. But Lord Peter Wimsey suspects murder: he just has to find the murderer, motive, and means of death. As he picks away at the layers, he hopes to discover any of the above to vindicate his hunch.

What did you recently finish reading?

An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro. Ono, a retired artist, reflects on his life and art during the marriage negotiations of his second daughter. He wonders whether he did right supporting an imperial worldview that has been rejected by the post-WWII Japanese youth. If you liked the circuity of Remains of the Day, you will like this cerebral novel.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Any of the following, courtesy of my parents, who should vacation proximate to Powell’s at least every month:

  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Three more Dorothy L. Sayers novels: Busman’s Honeymoon, Clouds of Witness, Have His Carcase
  • The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (in hardback, to match A Conspiracy of Kings)–although I think I’ll reread the series for my birthday in September

And also waiting for me at the library:

  • Zoo Station by David Downing
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

So I have plenty of choices for what to read next!