September at last! I’m wishing this summer and its heat good riddance. The weather has been wonderful lately, with some rain and cool temperatures. The only complaint I have is the sudden uptick in crickets. Where did they come from?
Mina had another veterinary appointment on Wednesday so she could get her second round of vaccinations. She was calm throughout the procedure, but when the vet tech gave her another round of oral dewormer, Mina glared at her like looks could kill. It’s hard to believe that much spite could appear on the face of a three-pound kitten, but there it was. Fortunately, we were back home in short order, so she could get back to playing and annoying her big brother.
I got home around 7:00 last night, and the light was too beautiful to pass up a chance to wander about my neighborhood and take photos:
I have an old Canon FD 135mm f/2.8 lens. With an adapter, I can use it on my Sony cameras. I love the way analog lenses render color. It’s a different look from the more precise digital lenses, and I am considering taking the 135mm with me to Iceland.
Speaking of Iceland, I’ll be there in a week and a half. I can’t wait!
What I Finished Reading Last Week:
- A Hero Born (Legends of the Condor Heroes #1) by Jin Yong, translated from the Chinese by Anna Holmwood, ARC provided by NetGalley
- Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany, audiobook narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
- The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
I will have a review up for the ARC of A Hero Born up in a couple of days, but the short answer is that I enjoyed this book.
Babel-17 is an odd book about language, communication, and how our language can affect our identity. In this story, famed poet Rydra Wong is hired by the military to decode a strange language used by an invading force. In the process of translating and learning that language, Babel-17, Wong is unnerved by the changes she undergoes but finds that it opens a new world of communication to her.
The Curse of Chalion is one of my favorite books ever. It is about a man, Cazaril, who returns home a broken man, seeking nothing more than a position in the kitchens. He is ultimately assigned to be the secretary-tutor to the teenaged princess, Iselle, and when the royal siblings are summoned to the capital city, Cazaril finds himself wound up in politics he thought he had left behind and spiritual entanglements he never dreamed possible. Everything about this book is just about perfect, from the character development to the worldbuilding to the ineffable but very real ways that the gods affect the people of the land. I love this book, and I recommend it every time someone asks what fantasy books they should read.
What I’m Currently Reading:
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, audiobook narrated by Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner (64%)
- The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi (89/400)
- Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee (84/495)
The Thirteenth Tale continues to be brilliant, and while some of my questions about the story have been answered, Setterfield wove new questions into the narrative. I hope I get through the rest of this story before I leave!
Even though I hadn’t read The Gilded Wolves, I saw its sequel, The Silvered Serpents available for request on NetGalley. Because I occasionally have odd whims when it comes to books, I requested it. And because I have a good working relationship with St. Martin’s Press, they approved my request the next day. Which meant I needed to read The Gilded Wolves. I requested both the ebook and the audiobook from my library, and though both had a wait list of two weeks, I received the audiobook the very next day. There are two narrators, one for the male characters and one for the female characters. The female narrator is great, but the male narrator… Well, if you’ve ever needed someone to narrate a technical manual in flawless monotone accents, this is the guy for you. It’s less entertaining when he’s reading a fantasy novel. I am going to return the audiobook and wait for the ebook. I did get a little farther, thanks to the ‘Read in Store’ option on my Nook. After work on Saturday, I went to Barnes and Noble and sat down in the cafe with coffee and a dessert and read for a while. So far I have seen a lot of positives and a lot of negatives, so we’ll see how the rest of the book pans out.
I made zero progress in Jade City because when I read The Curse of Chalion, I forget about all other books. I will focus on Jade City this week and try to finish it before I leave on vacation next Tuesday. It’s a little bigger than I want to carry with me.
What I Want to Start Reading This Week:
In theory, I want to start reading Children of Dune by Frank Herbert as part of DuneTube, a read-along of the Dune Chronicles hosted by BookTubers like Steve Donoghue. Given that I want to finish Jade City before next week, I am not going to push myself to start Children of Dune
What Else I’ve Been Doing This Week:
Random stuff, like playing with a kitten and shopping at Target. I found a bourbon pumpkin candle from Chesapeake Bay Candles, and it smells incredible! It’s such a rich scent and it fills my little apartment soon after I light it. Fall candles are my favorite, and I always try to stock up on Fall scents, since Spring and Summer candles don’t appeal to me as much as the Fall candles do.
This week, I will be getting my packing list in order, making sure I have everything I need for my trip, and ensuring that I can pack all my clothes and camera gear in the carry-on-sized suitcase and shoulder bag and still have room for souvenirs like books.