This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.
We are still recovering from a nasty attack of Covid and it’s baby steps. I walked to my local supermarket yesterday – only the second time I’ve been out and about since the beginning of March. A journey there and back, including the shopping normally takes about half an hour, if it isn’t too busy. I took nearly an hour and only bought two items. By the time I staggered back through the kitchen door, I felt as if I’d run a marathon. However, it’s now four days since I needed to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon. Himself is back at work, but still battling with a horrible cough. We are both taking lots of supplements and ensuring that we are eating and drinking healthily.
The photos this week are of plants blooming in the garden. It hasn’t been warm enough to sit out, but one lovely sunny morning I couldn’t resist wandering around taking some pictures. Though the garden is in desperate need of TLC and neither of us feels up to tackling the weeds, so frankly it’s a disgrace.
Last week I read:
The Recollection: Tenth Anniversary Edition by Gareth L. Powell
Four hundred years ago, Ed and Alice Rico threw themselves through a mysterious portal on the London Underground, hunting for Ed’s lost brother—Alice’s husband—Verne.
Now, starship captain Katherine Abdulov embarks on a desperate race against ruthless rival captain—and her former lover—Victor Luciano, to try and earn back her family’s trust.
Tomorrow, all their lives will be thrown together by disaster, as an ancient evil stirs among the stars, threatening the survival of all life…
I took a while to get invested in this dual narrative adventure, as initially I didn’t bond with any of the protagonists. But once things started to kick off, I was able to settle into this enjoyable space opera adventure and let the pages turn themselves. Review to follow.
The Russian Cage – Book 3 of the Gunnie Rose series by Charlaine Harris
Picking up right where A Longer Fall left off, this thrilling third installment follows Lizbeth Rose as she takes on one of her most dangerous missions yet: rescuing her estranged partner, Prince Eli, from the Holy Russian Empire.
Once in San Diego, Lizbeth is going to have to rely upon her sister Felicia, and her growing Grigori powers to navigate her way through this strange new world of royalty and deception in order to get Eli freed from jail where he’s being held for murder.
I’ve read and enjoyed the previous two books in this entertaining alternate history series and appreciated learning more about the Holy Russian Empire and exactly how it became established. There is plenty of action and more of Lizbeth, which is always a bonus…
Railhead – Book 1 of the Railhead series by Philip Reeve
Zen Starling is a petty thief, a street urchin from Thunder City. So when mysterious stranger Raven sends Zen and his new friend Nova on a mission to infiltrate the Emperor’s train, he jumps at the chance to traverse the Great Network, to cross the galaxy in a heartbeat, to meet interesting people – and to steal their stuff. But the Great Network is a dangerous place, and Zen has no idea where his journey will take him.
This YA adventure, with its sentient trains that span galaxies, is great fun. Though poor Zen is plonked right in the middle of something far bigger and scarier than he initially realised. Review to follow.
The Eyes of Tamburah – Book 1 of the Archives of the Invisible Swords series by Maria V. Snyder
Shyla is a researcher who resides in the underground desert city of Zirdai, which is ruled by the wealthy Water Prince and brutal Heliacal Priestess. Even though Shyla is sun-kissed – an outcast, considered cursed by the Sun Goddess – she is still renowned for uncovering innumerable archaic facts, lost artefacts, ancient maps and obscure historical documents.
Her quiet life is about to change when Banqui, an archaeologist, enlists her services to find The Eyes of Tamburah: legendary gemstones that bestow great magic on their wielder. These ancient objects can tip the balance of power and give whoever possesses them complete control of the city. But chaos erupts when The Eyes are stolen soon after they’re found – and Shyla is blamed for the theft.
I thoroughly enjoy the bouncy energy in Snyder’s writing – particularly now I’m feeling a tad embattled. So this cracking Sand and Sorcery adventure ticked all the boxes. Review to follow.
By Other Means – Book 5 of the Hayden War Cycle by Evan Currie
The Hayden War has ended and now SOLCOM and the Alliance are face to face in talks, but neither side has the slightest idea what happened in the ultimate battle of the war. Amid political jockeying and diplomatic gamesmanship, Captain Sorilla Aida has been given an assignment : Find a weakness to exploit, buy SOLCOM time to learn just what the hell happened to Valkyrie, and make sure that the Alliance isn’t prepared to risk another conflict in the open.
Sorilla has problems of her own, however, and after losing so much in the war she isn’t as certain of her life choices as she used to be. Unfortunately for her, the Alliance, SOLCOM, and others don’t intend to let her have time to figure it out for herself.
This offering is a thoroughly enjoyable page-turner with plenty of tension and action, despite the lack of full-on space battles that Currie tends to specialise in. Review to follow.
My posts last week:
Castellan the Black and His Wise Draconic Sayings
Review of NETGALLEY arc The Transylvania Twist – Book 2 of the Monster M*A*S*H
series by Angie Fox
Friday Face-off featuring Sourcery – Book 5 of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Best Thing You Can Steal – a Gideon Sable novel by Simon R. Green
Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne – Book 1 of The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne series by Jonathan Stroud
Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:
Keeping up with the Martians https://earthianhivemind.net/2021/04/09/keeping-up-with-the-martians/ It’s great to get one of Steph’s handy roundups about what is happening off our planet just now…
Illuminating Histories: The Oxford Illustrated History of the Book https://interestingliterature.com/2021/04/oxford-illustrated-history-of-the-book-james-raven-review/ After having read Dr Oliver Teale’s review of this sumptuous offering, I now know it’s going to appear on my birthday present list…
Daffodils in Snow, and History Lessons https://ailishsinclair.com/2021/04/daffodils-in-snow-and-history-lessons/ A lovely article – that also ends with the exciting news that Ailish’s second book is now out! So I nicked across and got hold of a copy😊.
A Strange Easter https://thenaptimeauthor.wordpress.com/2021/04/04/a-strange-easter-2/ Another wonderful article by a talented author – this time taking us through Time to other Easters celebrated in challenging circumstances…
Music and the Art Show – Part 1 https://jenniefitzkee.com/2021/04/05/music-and-the-art-show-part-1/ I love how Jennie inspires and fires up the youngsters in her class to be fearlessly creative…
Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog. I hope you had a peaceful, healthy week – and do take care. x
Blossoms are never a disgrace:)
The flowers are lovely, and there will be time to weed later😁 Glad you enjoyed Railhead. It’s one of my favorite books. Hope you continue to feel better!
Thank you, Tammy:)). And for the recommendation – it was your comments about Railhead that prompted me to get hold of it.
I am sorry to hear you got covid, but I am glad to hear you’re recovering. I hope you’re both doing well. Those pictures of your garden look lovely. It’s been chilly here too, although we had some sunny days and even the rare warm day here and there. Sounds like you had some good reads this week at least :).
Thank you, Lola. Yes – I think we need to be patient, because we’ve both got a way to go before we are completely well again…
And yes, I’ve been reading like a fiend and each one has been very enjoyable:)).
I’m glad you’re still taking it easy, Sarah. This virus causes so many different side-effects. lt’s really strange how different it can be for different people.
As usual you’ve read a number of interesting books. I always find recommendations! Have a good week!
Thank you, Jan. Yes, we are trying to be patient – my personal nightmare is that my lack of energy turns into long covid… And you’re right about how variable it is – I clearly caught covid from Himself and yet we had quite different symptoms.
Glad you found something in my book list to interest you – they were all entertaining reads:)).
I am glad you are feeling better. Hang in there!
I have been curious about the Gunnie Rose series…I have only read Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden books.
Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.
Thank you for your kind encouragement, Laurel. The Gunnie Rose series has a Wild West vibe and there is plenty of shoot-outs and action, but it is an enjoyable escapist read, which is what I need right now:)).
From what I hear, the road to complete recovery might take some time and patience, but your choice of going by baby steps is the wisest one, indeed! Hang in there! 🙂
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement, Maddalena. There are days when I feel positive and others when I struggle quite badly. I think when people have been quite ill, it’s common to feel depressed and overwhelmed afterwards, so I’m trying to take it in my stride. My writing has been a lifeline – I would be in bits if I was’t able to use it as an escape.
I hope you continue to feel much better this week! It is baby steps. I still have some weeding to do myself but the flower beds are clear. It’s more edging and where they have grown up through the pine straw or rocks.
Thank you, Anne. Glad you are on top of the weeding. Right now, our weeds are on top of us! But we simply cannot do it, or the annual painting chores. So they will have to wait. Have a great week:)
I’m glad there is continued improvement, however slow. I hope you have plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun in your garden. Maybe your grandson can do some weeding for some extra pocket money 🙂
Wishing you a great reading week
Thank you, Shelleyrae – it’s still a bit chilly for sitting out in the garden at present. We had some flurries of snow today, though thankfully nothing settled! And yes – it’s an idea about setting the grandchildren, although we haven’t seen them in a long time. We really need to do a deep clean throughout the house before I’m happy for them to come to visit – and neither of us are yet up to it. Although I’m doing bits and pieces when I have the energy…
I hope you, too, have a wonderful reading week.
Good grief Sarah! I didn’t know you were sick with Covid. I am just so glad that you are at least feeling a bit better. Please do take it easy and be kind to yourself.
You’ve left a message on my blog: I love the idea of your Mommy turning into a cat, Elza. Is this when you enter a magical pact with her and turn into a human being?? Just asking… I’ll write the story if you like:)).
Now that is what you can do in the meantime! You can write that story! That will be one awesome story and you are very welcome to use Elza as your muse. She would love it!!!
Have a good week and if you feel like taking a nap – do so.
Thank you so much, Mareli for your kind good wishes and encouragement. I’ll admit to struggling a bit just now – last month was Hell and yet I can’t seem to bounce back and put it behind. I know I need to be patient, but that can be difficult. Right now, I’m still busy writing Castellan’s adventures and I have to say that has been my shaft of light in the middle of this – I was so glad when I was well enough to start writing again! But of course, I tend to see stories everywhere:)). Hence my comment!.
I’m glad you are doing as well as you are after suffering through Covid. I know three people who aren’t here anymore after having it.
Your plants are beautiful. We call our garden a work in progress. We have just added new soil and we are hoping to get some new plants next week.
I call five books finished in one week a fabulous reading week.
Take care of yourself.
Thank you, Deb for your kind concern and encouragement. Yes, we both feel fortunate that we survived the experience. But on a day to day basis, it is sometimes difficult to step back and know I have to be patient as there is so much I still am unable to do.
A work in progress… I like that – right now it’s the weeds progressing in our garden:)). And yes – I’ve been reading like a fiend recently, as it’s a great way to escape.
Love all the flower pictures! I actually took a picture this morning of what I know are considered weeds, but the little purple and white flowers in my grass make me happy. I’m also loving all the green shoots coming up where I hope to soon have some flowers, although I don’t think the tiger lilies will actually flower till this summer. Have a great week!
Lisa Loves Literature
I quite like weeds growing in the grass – clover in particular as the bees love it – and it looks pretty:)). The tiger lilies sounds glorious – I’m looking forward to seeing the summer flowers, too, Lisa. I hope you have a lovely week!
Wishing you steady recovery. At least, you can enjoy nice flowers at home, and sounds like you had good books as well. My husband has serious heart issues, so we have been extremely cautious, for instance, I haven’t been grocery shopping since February 2020.
We will be fully vaccinated by May 6, but the nasty much more contagious variant is getting closer, so I’m still going to wait more before going out in crowds
Thank you:). And yes, I think your caution is absolutely merited. Many of my husband’s work colleagues also went down with this varient – 3 ended up in hospital and another died. We had put in place some procedures – for instance, my husband took off his work uniform in the laundry and changed into clean clothes before coming into the house and then going straight to the shower. But despite that, he caught this and so did I. I hope you both stay safe:)).
I hope you keep getting better and better. The plants are beautiful. Have a great week!
Thank you, Yvonne – I hope your week is turning out to be a good one, too.
Oh I hate those long lingering cough but am glad you’re both feeling better. I kind of feel like I’ve run a marathon anytime I run more then 2 errands so I can understand! I’ve kind of decided that I rather like weeds (except for the ones that all of a sudden shoot up about a foot but I don’t know what they’re called). It makes what grass we have look greener and some of them flower so it’s a win! Have a great week and take care of yourself.
I’ve decided to take your intelligent attitude towards the weeds – thank you, Katherine for your kind concern:)). After all, a weed is just a plant in the wrong place – and dandelions are rather beautiful, if a nightmare to get out of the ground… Maybe I’ll take some pics of all the weeds thriving in the garden:)). I hope this week is a kindly one to you and yours – particularly Will.
I don’t think I knew you had covid, but I’m glad you’re on the mend! My aunt had it early on in the pandemic and the fatigue was her biggest complaint once she got over the respiratory symptoms. She just couldn’t stir up energy to do anything and that’s not like her at all.
Your flowers are lovely.
Enjoy your week and take care!
Thank you, Jen. Yes, I find I am finding everything a battle at present…
I’m glad to hear that you are making steady progress in your recovery from COVID. I’d be impatient with the baby steps too so I definitely empathize with your frustration. That’s great you were able to get outside and enjoy your flowers a bit. I’m loving those gorgeous colors.
Yes – and the colours really are that vivid. I think introducing the perennial wallflower shrub to the garden was one of the best moves I ever made. It’s a thug, but it flowers all the year round and I love it.
I’m so glad to hear that you’re on the mend, though I’m sure it’s frustrating to have to take it slow. Your flowers are lovely at least. Never mind the weeds- I have a wonderful crop of those growing, and have no illness to blame. 🙂 Wishing and praying for continued healing and good health for both of you. Also, thank you for the blog mention!
Thank you for your kind good wishes, Anne. And you’re very welcome! It’s a lovely post and deserves to be widely read.
I hope the coming week is a good one:)).
Thank you- we’re supposed to get up to 70 degrees! We’ll see how well the students focus with all of that sunshine. 🙂
Oh my goodness! Best of luck…
Fatigue and feeling wiped out was the biggest problem I had with Covid as well. I took LOTS of naps, often had no energy. I hope you and your husband are feeling better and improving every day. It can be awful.
Love the garden pics!
Thank you, Greg! Yes, depressingly I find I’m really struggling again this week. It’s like I’ve taken several steps backwards. Himself is also feeling unwell – I think we may both have picked up a minor sniffle, but it seems have brought back some of the Covid symptoms with it…
Glad the garden pics hit the spot. I’m determined not to get too wound up by the weeds and just celebrate the fact that everything is growing again and winter is retreating.
Oh I hope things turn around and you both feel better as this week progresses. Covid is funny and things can certainly seem to linger with it… we found that as well. Be well. Hang in there!!!!
Thank you for your kind encouragement, Greg:)).
I’m so sorry the recovery is taking its toll. I’m glad you’re feeling better though. I hope you feel even better soon 😉
Have a great week and happy reading.
Thank you for your kind good wishes, Maureen. I hope you are also having a wonderful week:))
Yikes. I’m sorry to hear your battle with covid has been so tough! I hope you get better soon.
Thank you for your kind encouragement, SJ.
I hope you continue to mend and are feeling better soon, Sarah. I have coworkers who have had similar experiences as yours. Some of the symptoms seemed to hang on forever. Your photos of your flowers are lovely! I enjoyed The Russian Cage. I have enjoyed the series. I hope you have a great week and take care. Get lots of rest!
Thank you for your kind concern, Wendy. I’m hoping to feel better soon. Unfortunately, as you say, some of the symptoms seem to be thoroughly outstaying their welcome!! Glad you enjoyed the flowers.
And yes – I really enjoyed The Russian Cage and the series. I thought the premise a fascinating one, and – it being Harris – really well executed.
Hope you and your husband feel better soon, and the after-effects go away as well. Do remember to take plenty of rest! Love all the books you’ve listed here so I hope they are keeping good company!
Thank you for your kind good wishes, Athira:)). And yes – I’m reading like a fiend right now, as often I don’t have energy to do anything else…
Hey, it’s just like WHAT ABOUT BOB?, yes? Baby steps. Little progressions back into what you could always do. The cough must be an absolute bugger, though, so I do hope that Himself is doing better now that it’s…uffdah, mid-May…
Thank you so much! Himself’s cough is a lot better, thank you. And as for me, I think I finally do see myself making some progress. Although the spells of exhaustion are grim, I’m losing hair and have night sweats, which are a bit miserable. Sadly my lovely father-in-law also died on 6th May… So it’s been a rough year, so far.
Oh no wonder May has been…Sarah,, your family is in my prayers. Thank you for telling me, and while I’m thankful one family journey finally found the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m sorry you’ve only found yourselves on another journey of grief. But I do hope you are able to hold one another, celebrate his love, and take comfort in knowing death is not the end. Hugs to you from Wisconsin xxxxxxxx
Thank you so much for your kind words of comfort. Derek didn’t have any kind of faith, which made his ongoing battle with cancer so much more courageous, I think. But I certainly do and very much appreciate your kind concern and prayers. xxxx
You’ll always have them, Friend. xxxxxxxx
Thank you so much – that means the world…xxxx