Want a good way to confuse your smartphone? Live 1,000 or more miles from the nearest ocean or sea and download an app that tells you when tides will be high or low. Watch it try to find the nearest beaches and give you locations in both Massachusetts and Texas.
Tidal schedules will be more relevant this week and next, when I am in ocean-side towns and need to know when high and low tides are so I don’t show up at the wrong time and, say, flood the car because I didn’t notice the ocean rising up. I’m not an expert at beaches. What can I say? I live on the Great Plains. We’re short on vast bodies of water around here.
I didn’t do a whole lot of reading this week. This was partly because of my preparations for my upcoming trip to Iceland, and partly due to a sudden desire to spend all my free time writing. Steve Donoghue posted a series of videos about writing, and they seemed to have flipped a switch in my head. I have this writing project that’s been hanging around on my hard drive for the past few years. I’d gotten tired of it when I put it away, but still had the storyline in my head. When the writing bug caught my by the throat last weekend, I picked that old project back up, retooled some of the plot points and character notes (elements that were what made me tired of the story back then), and have been working like mad on it since then. 8,000 words later, it’s still going strong.
So I have hardly been reading. The cats haven’t helped. Mina, the kitten, has decided that 1:00am is the very best time to find the loudest toy she can and chase it around my living room and bedroom, which have wood floors. And then in the morning, around 6:00AM, my older cat, Sidney, likes to make a lot of noise when he jumps up into the window or throws a fit when he sees Mina napping in the bedroom chair. She’s not bothering him up there, but he’s an asocial cat and when things aren’t just so he make his displeasure known. It’s noisy at both ends of the night, so I haven’t been sleeping well this week. That makes me less likely to read before bed. I just go to bed instead.
What I Finished Reading Last Week:
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, audiobook narrated by Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner
That’s all. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish this audiobook, since I had a few discs left at the beginning of the week, and I don’t spend that much time in the car. But on Friday I had to do some extra driving for work, which got me about halfway through the final disc, and I listened to the rest on my drive home. It is a phenomenal book that develops so many mysteries as the story progresses, and then ties up all the loose ends by the end. The characters are well-drawn, regardless of how brief their appearances, and the writing is gorgeous. I highly recommend this book and am planning to read another of Setterfield’s novels, Bellman and Black in October.
What I’m Currently Reading:
- Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee (158/495)
- Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear, audiobook narrated by Nneka Okoye (25%)
I’m still enjoying Jade City. The stage has been set, the characters established, and now the politics and conflicts between the two crime families, Mountain and No-Peak, are coming into play. Anden has been offered a choice, Shea is being drawn back into her family’s conflicts, and I think Hilo and Lan are about to clash in a major way thanks to Mountain’s actions. I’m looking forward to getting back to this, but that probably won’t happen until after I get home from Iceland.
Ancestral Night is brilliant so far. Haimey Dz is a compelling character who expertly explains complicated scientific concepts to laymen (that is, the reader) without bringing the story to a dead stop. It’s so easy for an author to drag a story through a bog with extensive infodumps, but Bear is too experienced a writer to do that. The story and characters are compelling, and the atmosphere is often eerie. It helps that Okoye is a fantastic narrator.
What I Plan to Read This Week:
I have two flights and some time sitting around in airports this week, so I have a couple of books on my Nook that I will be getting to.
- The Poet and the Princess: Memories of Rainer Maria Rilke by Princess Marie Von Thurn Und Taxis
- The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi
- The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of Dr. John H. Watson, M.D. by Nicholas Meyer
- The Twenty-Ninth Day: Surviving a Grizzly Attack in the Canadian Tundra by Alex Messenger
These are all books I plan to read on various flights and during layovers. I won’t have a lot of time on the way to Iceland, as my flight from Dallas to Reykjavik is overnight and I plan to sleep as much as possible. But my first flight from Omaha to Dallas is about an hour and a half, so that should give me enough time to read The Poet and the Princess, which is quite short. I won this ebook in a Goodreads giveaway a couple of weeks ago, and I’m curious about it. Rilke is one of my favorite poets, but as a human being he could be kind of a wreck. He was incredibly sensitive and obsessed with art and beauty, but he was terrible in his interpersonal relationships.
The Gilded Wolves showed up for me on Overdrive the other day, and while I’m looking forward to finishing it, it may get put off until my flight home on the eighteenth. The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols and The Twenty-Ninth Day are the next two ARCs on my list, so I will start on those if I get through the first two books.
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
I’ve had a trade paperback copy of this book for quiet some time, and while I had planned to read it well before now, once I decided to go back to Iceland, I knew I had to wait until I was back there before I started reading it. So this will be tucked away in my suitcase to read before bed and during rainstorms that keep me inside during my trip next week.
I will be posting very little, if at all, for the next two weeks. I leave on Tuesday afternoon and will return on Wednesday the eighteenth. After that, I will be dealing with jet lag for at least a few days while diving into a well of photo editing. Last time I traveled abroad I came home with more than 1,300 pictures. I would have taken more, but I was dealing with tendonitis in my right ankle which limited my ability to hike and climb. I wasn’t able to go to all the places I wanted to. But I am healthy this time around and am a little bolder now and have some definite photography goals (assuming the weather cooperates), so I may end up with even more photographs this time around.
Have a great couple of weeks! I’ll see you when I get back!