Saturday, 15 July 2017

Sunday Post 64; It's Monday! What are you reading? 50


The Sunday Post - a chance for a chat and a catch-up with other bloggers - is hosted by Kimba, here:
http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn right here: http://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Let's see ... last week was ... something - lol.

For us as a family, the biggest news is that J got a fulltime job. He's been working as a grocery assistant part-time at a supermarket for years so this is good all around - not just for the family, but for him as well.

For myself, I went into Tech last Monday and discovered that no, no I was not enrolled in the course I thought I was. After some to-ing and fro-ing, I somehow found myself enrolled in a graduate diploma in marketing. Now - I really enjoyed marketing last semester but after a week of course, I don't feel ready to tackle a graduate course. So I'm going to go in there tomorrow and talk to the head of department - I have a week in which I can change my course with no penalties, and I want to see if I can switch to a BCom.

It was my intention anyway after the Certificate I did, but because I have a Bachelor of Arts (from 20 years ago I might add) people kept saying that I really didn't need another bachelor's degree, I already have a good education - and yes, that's all good advice and all but I lost sight of what I wanted to do. I want to pursue the BCom, and still major in marketing, as that's what I'm really interested in. So hopefully I can switch.

I still haven't heard from the job that I really wanted, so I think I have to let that one go - I was talking on Friday to one of the people I had put down for a reference, and she said she hadn't heard from them - two weeks later.

So the plan is (hopefully) to switch my course, but keep applying for jobs. Studying is something I can always come back to, now that I know I still have the knack to get the work done, but you can't pin a job to a noticeboard for later.

I'm still picking through the same books - the Hamilton bio and Tongues of Serpents, though the latter isn't the strongest entry in the Temeraire series, I will still persist.

How about you? What are you reading? How's your week?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Review - The Crow by Alison Croggon

The Crow is book three in Alison Croggon’s YA fantasy series The Books of Pellinor.

The first two books focused on Maerad, a Bard who had no idea of her skills until she was rescued from slavery. Subsequently, Maerad finds out that she’s the Chosen One and she has to find something called the Treesong to restore the Balance.

Book three focuses on Maerad’s long-lost brother Hem, with whom she is reunited in book two.

I have to admit, I was wary at first going in, because I did become invested in Maerad’s journey, and I also dig the way that Alison Croggan just kind of went “yep, it’s a Chosen one narrative. Look, there she is. She’s the Chosen One. Yep.” It works really well, and it’s cosy because you know exactly what you’re getting so you just sort of …. Dive in.

Hem has been taken to another city by another Bard, Saliman, in order to learn How to be a Proper Bard. Hem is good at some things, not so good at others, but he’s also very likable, and The Crow is kind of a found family story, and if there is something I have a HUGE weakness for, it’s a found family story.

Often in this sort of fantasy story, Hem might have turned bitter or been jealous of Maerad but he’s not. He misses her and wants nothing but to see her again and gosh it just has so much HEART.

On the flip side of that, of course, terrible terrible things happen and I think the descriptions of the child soldiers that serve The Nameless One (yes, the bad guy is called that. The tropes. They live, but they’re handled so. well.) are awful and heartbreaking, and the time that Hem spends in one of the child soldiers’ camps ...well.

Wary as I was, The Crow did not disappoint and I like that it rounded out the story of the Books of Pellinor so well. The next book in the series - The Singing - swings the focus back to Maerad as the good vs evil narrative reaches its climax.

Good stuff. Really, really, really good stuff.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Sunday post 63; It's Monday, what are you reading? 49


The Sunday Post is a chance for a chat and catch-up with the lives of other bloggers, and is hosted by Kimba, here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? Can be found hosted by Kathryn, here: http://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

You know the saying that goes life happens when you make other plans? Nothing I had set out for last week happened. Patrick was sick with a bad cough for most of it and that had the knock-on effect of me not getting anytyhing done.

As for what's going to happen this week, I'm actually not sure. My course is supposed to start tomorrow, but I haven't heard anything from the institute since about June 21 when they emailed me to ask what papers I wanted to take. I replied to that, and ... nothing. I tried calling a couple of times but only got an answerphone. So, tomorrow (they've been on semester break) I'm going in there in person and politely asking whether I'm enrolled or not.

I'm still waiting to hear back from the part-time admin job that I interviewed for, and the other one that I had a phone interview for I didn't progress. I'm living in limbo and it's actually the worst. If I start the course then that's something, and then if I get the job what I'll likely do is put the course on hold and maybe re-enrol next year, but I don't want to speak my plans too loudly - lol.

We're coming into school holidays for two weeks here as well, so spawn will be home for a bit. I don't like things to be this ... disorderly.

I finished The Crow yesterday and I'm hoping to get a review up for that this week. I'm also about to dive into the next Temeraire book - Tongues of Serpents. For everything else - let's say I'd like to get some blogging and writing done, and some stitching and get a few walks in, but honestly - let's see how I go.

What about you? What are you doing? What are you reading? How's your week?

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Sunday post 62; It's Monday! What are you reading? 48


The Sunday Post - a chance for bloggers to catch up and chat about what's been going on in their lives - is hosted by Kimba, here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, over here: http://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

I have been rather notable by my absence, I think. Or not notable perhaps. Certainly absent, without intention.

Let's see ... my course finished and I closed out with As and Bs in everything, so that's the good news. I'm back looking for a job, which is the less-good news, but the struggle continues. At worst, I'll re-enrol for another semester of study. It gets me out of the house, gets the old brain cells cranking, and I genuinely enjoy the studying process.

Watch this space?

That's about the most significant thing, I think. I did have a job interview the week before last, but I'll update on that when I know more. It is a job I would love, but I have to wait and see.

I didn't do very much last week at all - it was the week after my course finished, so I decided to take it easy for a little bit - I applied for jobs and belted through a replay of Dragon Age II. This week - although applying for jobs is a given - I need to fill my days a bit more productively. I need to go through the process (again) of applying for benefits, which is always fun, and the course I want to do starts up on July 10, so if something doesn't fall out of the sky between now and next Monday, I need to follow up with the admin for that.

I have some projects I want to get done - I have hoarder pockets in my room that need to be dealt with, and I also want to reorganise the family collection of movies and video games so everything is tidy. It doesn't sound like much besides busywork, but while I have the time I want to get something done. I also want to go for a walk every day - not for fitness, but I find being outside, even for a little while walking around the block, can shift my perspective and clear my head.

I have my Circe cross-stitch that I've had on the go for years, but I've come to the stage where I can sort of see the finish line - it's blurry and distant but it's there, so I want to work on that as well. Get back into blogging regularly, and of course, reading.

My reading has slowed down, but I'm climbing that TBR, one book at a time. Right now, I'm picking my way through Ron Chernow's tome of an Alexander Hamilton bio, and also reading The Crow by Alison Croggan, the third in the Books of Pellinor series. Both good reads, and both very different reads. I'm about 20 books behind on my Goodreads challenge but I'm not losing any sleep over it - either I'll catch up, or I won't. If I don't I'll set myself a less lofty target next year.

I won tickets a couple of weeks ago to a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and went with a couple of women from my course. It was great fun, singing and dancing along with the movie, though I'm getting to the age where being out past midnight is something that my body does not enjoy - lol.

What about you? How's your week? What are you reading?

Monday, 1 May 2017

It's Monday, What are you reading? 47

I didn't do a Sunday Post yesterday because ... um. Well, it was readathon weekend, and I did the opening meme for that and somehow deemed that enough for one weekend - lol.

I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging, and this seems like a good place to start.

I've given the old homestead a bit of a tickle-up, and I have to say, I like the new look. Tis shiny.

As for what I'm reading... I got halfway through The Paladin Caper by Patrick Weekes for readathon, which was all I got read. So I still have that on the go. I'm also picking very slowly away at an ebook of Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton biography. It's a tome of a book, and reading it as an ebook makes it much, much easier.

I'm still on my course (until the end of June) and that's going well, as near as I can tell. Spawn turns 10 (!) on May 15 so we're planning a party. Nothing themed or anything - just pizza, sandwiches etc, and a few friends of his.

So. How are you? What are you reading?

Friday, 28 April 2017

Dewey's readathon, plus starting meme

I only just signed up today, so my snack and books pile are both rather last-minute. I'm going out tonight, and readathon starts at midnight my time, so I won't be there for the early part of the festivities.

I am, however, part of #TeamANZ - a group of Aussie and NZ books bloggers - you can find the others here: http://bronasbooks.blogspot.co.nz/2017/04/deweys-readathon-april-2017.html - who will be around on the twitter tomorrow afternoon when our northern hemisphere readers might be a bit quieter.

I've put a pic on instagram, and here it is in all its glory, my last-minute stack of readathon possibles and snacks:

The book stack possibles are: A Feast for Crows by G R R Martin, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (this would be a re-read but it's the book of my soul), Wizards and Glass by Stephen King, The Paladin Caper by Patrick Weekes, The Stolen Throne by David Gaider and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

The snacks are salt and vinegar chips, toffee milk chocolate by Whitaker's and Sprite - lol. 

My plan is to (hopefully) set aside a few reading hours tomorrow. I'm only going to pick one book from the stack, and I think it'll depend on what I'm feeling like.

Meanwhile, here's the starting meme that kicks off each readathon:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
New Zealand. :) Specifically my living room. Possibly outside for a bit if it's sunny.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I'm not sure actually, but I have Wizards and Glass by Stephen King, and The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weekes, so I might dive in to one of those.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Whittaker's toffee milk chocolate... om nom

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Um. At this point, I'm not sure what people don't know about me - lol.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? Hopefully get a bit more reading done ...

Most of these answers are the same as last time - lol.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Sunday Post 61; It's Monday, What are you reading? 46


The Sunday Post is a chance for a chat and a catch-up with other bloggers, and is hosted by Kimba, here: http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/ and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn, here: http://bookdate.blogspot.co.nz/

Well, it's been a couple of weeks. Oops. I have a quiet Sunday afternoon ahead of me, so I'm listening to Hamilton and painting my nails and I thought "hey, I could do a blog post." So here I am :)

Uhm. I've mostly been doing coursework and studying, to be honest. And listening to Hamilton a lot. We got our first tests back for Intro to Law, last week, which I did well on. I have two assessments due this week, but I'll just have to wait and see how those go.

I'm reading on and off but my reading has been very patchy. I'm picking away at Ten Thousand Pieces of You, still; and Lords and Ladies. I'm also reading Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver on my ibooks, and that's pretty good. I keep trying to get into some kind of regular routine and then completely failing - lol.

I did treat myself to a couple of games on Steam - Herald, a narrative type game that follows the fortunes of a young sailor in a kind of alternate world 19th century; and Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, which is more my speed - masks and conspiracies and worldbuilding. Though I've reached a point where I keep dying - oops.

What else. Coursework. Games. Reading. Family things. That's ... about it? I do want to try and get a couple of posts up this week - book reviews and an awesome ladies post, I just need to do the research.

What about you? What are you reading? How's your week?