This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books they’ve read and share what they have got up to during the last week.
Given that it was the second week of the Easter holidays, it wasn’t a surprise that the weather has been mixed, with several days of driving wind and rain. I even put the heating back on in the evenings, after having turned it off. On Monday, the boys came back from their holiday away with their stepdad, which they thoroughly enjoyed. So Tuesday ended up feeling weirdly like Sunday as we did the supermarket run, complete with menu plan and shopping list. It was lovely to have them back again – even though it was only a few days, I really missed their daft jokes and hilarity. We intended to go out and about a bit, but the weather wasn’t our friend and no one really wanted to brave the wind and rain for a trip to the beach/Highdown Gardens/Wetland and Wildfowl Trust. Or to go and see a film. Until yesterday when we went for a quick jaunt along the beach – which is what the pics are about. I’m so looking forward to the summer!
On Friday, I finally got around to tackling the BOOKS section of my blog pages, which were hideously out of date. It had been on my To-Do list when I got sick in March 2021… So if you saw a lowering black cloud swirling in a threatening manner over Southern England – that was me trying to recall exactly HOW to add pages. I know I’d done it before, but blessed if I could remember! And none of the videos were very helpful as they were mostly about WordPress websites. One did give a fleeting glimpse of the toolbar I needed, so I was able to figure it out. And then I had another conniption when I visited Bitly for the universal links I needed – the whole site was unrecognisable from the last time I’d used it! After a moment’s hyperventilating, I gritted my teeth, navigated my way around until it all made sense again. Needless to say – the whole job took most of the afternoon and early evening. But I’m ridiculously proud of myself for having tackled the job and got it done. I’ve also been editing Flame & Blame and Trouble With Dwarves to ensure I’ve enough description of the world. It’s a bit of a balance, as I want to give enough details so folks can envisage the place, without over-describing it.
It’s been another reading week where I haven’t got through many books, as I’ve once again been working hard on editing. Though I feel very fortunate to have listened to Paladin of Souls, which is absolutely fantastic.
Last week I read:-
AUDIOBOOK – Paladin of Souls – Book 2 of World of the Five Gods series by Lois McMaster Bujold
In a land threatened by treacherous war and beset by demons, royal dowager Ista, released from the curse of madness and manipulated by an untrustworthy god, is plunged into a desperate struggle to preserve the endangered souls of a realm.
This wonderful sequel to The Curse of Chalion features poor, unlucky Ista, who had been disastrously entangled in the terrible Curse. And though released from its clutches, seems doomed to live a half-life surrounded by fussy old courtiers who are constantly on the lookout for any odd behaviour from her. Until she decides to escape by going on a pilgrimage. And is promptly overtaken by a catalogue of dangerous adventures that spin her onto a completely different trajectory. I simply stopped to give all my attention to the unfolding story, wonderfully narrated by Kate Reading. I love that Ista is a middle-aged protagonist who is justifiably bitter and angry at what befell her – and this nuanced, brilliantly written story explores her emotional landscape, as well as her ongoing escapades. 10/10
And Put Away Childish Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky
All roads lead to Underhill, where it’s always winter, and never nice.
Harry Bodie has a famous grandmother, who wrote beloved children’s books set in the delightful world of Underhill. Harry himself is a failing kids’ TV presenter whose every attempt to advance his career ends in self-sabotage. His family history seems to be nothing but an impediment.
An impediment… or worse. What if Underhill is real? What if it has been waiting decades for a promised child to visit? What if it isn’t delightful at all? And what if its denizens have run out of patience and are taking matters into their own hands?
Once again, Tchaikovsky delivers a quirky, thought-provoking book that has left me thinking about it a great deal since I finished reading it. Among other things, it’s a homage to all things Narnia and provides an interesting, somewhat dark, ‘what if’ around the portal fantasy tale. It’s also very funny in places… Review to follow. 9/10
AUDIOBOOK – The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tesla Crane, a brilliant inventor and an heiress, is on her honeymoon on an interplanetary space liner, cruising between the Moon and Mars. She’s traveling incognito and is reveling in her anonymity. Then someone is murdered and the festering chowderheads who run security have the audacity to arrest her spouse. Armed with banter, martinis and her small service dog, Tesla is determined to solve the crime so that the newlyweds can get back to canoodling—and keep the real killer from striking again.
I absolutely loved the Lady Astronaut series – see my reviews of The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky and particularly The Relentless Moon, which was my absolute favourite as it was a wonderful murder mystery set in space. So I was very excited when I heard of this offering. But it didn’t quite live up to my expectations… I thought Tesla was a strong character – I thought her PTSD and physical issues were dealt with very well and Gimlet, her adorable dog was just that – adorable. But there was an awful lot of to-ing and fro-ing around the ship that became a tad repetitive and I also found her constant canoodling with her husband in public places somewhat tacky. Even if they were on their honeymoon. And by the end of the audiobook, the cocktail recipes that began every chapter were driving me bonkers – I couldn’t quickly fast-forward through them and they completely yanked me out of the story with some boring yabber about drinks I’ll never try – I’m teetotal. Nonetheless, it still gets a respectable score, because I mostly enjoyed it. 7/10
My posts last week:
Castellan the Black and his Wise Dragonic Musings on Life
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of NETGALLEY arc We Dream of Gods – Book 4 of The Reborn Empire by Devin Madson
Can’t-Wait-Wednesday featuring I, Julian by Claire Gilbert
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Exes by Jane Lythell
Hope you, too, had some brilliant books to tuck into and wishing you all a happy, healthy week😊.