Sunday Sum-Up: May 30, 2021

Rainy week! Again. Well, not so much rainy as generally cloudy, Especially after Wednesday night after a cold front came through and the temperature dropped from about 90°F to about 50°F overnight. I was perfectly happy to have the cooler weather come in, as I am never ready for hot weather (which it looks like we’re going to get again next weekend. Bleah).

I finally made it out to a nearby state park on my day off. I had thought that it would be fairly quiet in the morning, but I was wrong, as there were several families that had apparently been camping and who flocked to the little waterfall I wanted to photograph. I was there for about an hour and a half, and would be swarmed by children for about twenty minutes at a time before getting about five minutes of quiet before the next group showed up. It seems that I need to be there in bad weather, or deep into the school year to get the peace and quiet I was looking for.

Alas.

Still, I got a few pictures of the waterfall during those brief quiet moments, with this being the best one:


Obligatory Mina Photo:

I promise that Mina has plenty of places in the apartment where she can curl up and nap. Like the little fuzzy house I bought her, on basically all of the furniture, just about any of the bookshelves, on either of the crocheted cat beds, or wherever else her little heart desires. But she’s perfectly happy to hang out in the soft-sided carrier I use to take her to the vet.

What a weirdo.

In other Mina news, her birthday is coming up! She will be two years old on June 5! It’s hard to believe we’ve been together for so long! I’m still so happy that I found that little ball of black fluff and gigantic ears in the laundry room downstairs on that fateful July day in 2019.

Sidney still begrudges her presence, but he’s mostly accepted that she’s here to stay.


What I Finished Reading Last Week:

  • Broken Homes (Rivers of London #4) by Ben Aaronovitch, audiobook narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Rule of Wolves (King of Scars #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  • Foxglove Summer (Rivers of London #5) by Ben Aaronovitch, audiobook narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

It’s been a few years since I read the first three Rivers of London books, which feature PC Peter Grant, a young, mixed-race London cop who accidentally stumbles into a world of magic and paranormal goings-on, and is reassigned to the magic-based subdivision of the London police. He has a bit of magic at his disposal, sure, but his unusual family background and his police training serve him just as well when it comes to solving magical crimes. In Broken Homes, a series of seemingly unrelated crimes brings Peter into south London and puts him in the middle of one of London’s stranger neighborhoods, where river gods and dryads wreak havoc, and even the architecture is suspicious. In Foxglove Summer, the disappearance of two girls brings Peter out to the countryside and puts him squarely in the sights of small town police, small local gods, ghostly forests and even worse– the press corps. Both of these books were fun, well-written, and compelling enough that I didn’t want to stop listening. It helps that Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s voice is amazing, and he nails all the different accents and voices so perfectly it’s like there’s a full cast narrating it. I’d have happily gone on to the next book, The Hanging Tree, except my library doesn’t have it on audio. It has the rest of the series, but not book six. Rude. So I’ll probably end up reading a physical copy in July, and then finish the series on audio. I’m not sure why I stopped reading the books a few years ago. Maybe Peter was behaving in a juvenile matter, or maybe there was more sexy stuff than I was willing to deal with? I don’t know. But Peter has grown up in these later books, so there’s less obnoxious behavior to deal with. All that training was going to have an effect sometime.

Rule of Wolves was a (mostly) perfect conclusion to the whole Grisha series. Save for that ending thing with the monk (what was up with that whole thing anyway?), I found it completely satisfying and it tied up a lot of loose ends while providing some cameos of characters from the other Grisha books. I saw a couple of people on Bookstagram complaining about those cameos, calling them mere fan service (Of course they were. That was half the fun of them), but I enjoyed the heck out of them, and they gave us a basic picture of what those characters had been doing in the intervening years since the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. I really do enjoy how Bardugo puts the pieces of her story together in such a way that you don’t really notice how they’re coming together until the big climactic events, and then everything just falls together. Is it a perfect book? No. Is it a perfect duology? No. Was it 500+ pages of adventure and heartache that passed in a flash? Yes. Yes it was. I’m looking forward to whatever else Bardugo writes next (the Ninth House sequel??). She’s really becoming of of my top-tier authors.

What I’m Currently Reading:

I only have a few stories left in The Tangleroot Palace. So far, I have been enjoying most of them, and the one I didn’t care for was well-crafted- I just didn’t care for the subject matter. It has a Lex Luther vibe to it, and I’ve never been a fan of the Superman franchise. But the rest of the stories have been great- weird and often unnerving, but so well done. I’m looking forward to those last couple. I plan to finish it up today or tomorrow.

Because the library didn’t have the sixth Rivers of London available as an audiobook through Libby, and because I wanted another relatively short audiobook to round out the month, I decided to give The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner a try. I’ve heard so many good things about it, and so far, so good. I listened to the first 18% while out walking, and it was enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the rest, and I should be able to get it finished up before June rolls around, given that the whole book is only about ten hours long, and I usually listen to audiobooks at 1.5x to 1.75x speed.


What I Plan to Start Reading This Week:

Before I say anything else, most of these books are short. Why am I starting so many of them? Because I’m taking part in the Shelf Space Discord server’s Olympics Readathon, which takes place during the entire month of June. There are sixteen prompts based upon different Greek deities, and the first four books on this list count for one prompt each. The Ice Lion is one of the four ARCs I need to read and review before the beginning of July. I’m hoping it’s a fast-paced read, as I don’t want to be stuck on a dense science fiction book at this point in time. I want to get the first three books finished in the first couple of days of June. It shouldn’t be a problem, as they’re short. I’ll have much longer books on the docket for this craziness I’m taking part in. But hey, I’m on Team Nyx, and because my teammates are from all over the world, it has been noted that the sun never rises on our Nyxian Empire.

I am all about that.

9 thoughts on “Sunday Sum-Up: May 30, 2021

  1. I really love going out in terrible weather because then, yes, you can actually have a peaceful time in nature!

    I did think the sheer amount of cameos in Rule of Wolves was fan service. And that it didn’t really make sense for some of them (like Inej is really going to be at a coronation?). But I recognize that a lot of fans probably loved these cameos, so, sure, why not?

  2. They’re all fun books. The first three Grisha books are kind of tropey, but they were Bardugo’s first three tries. She gets better with every book. And I think I prefer Rivers of London to the Dresden Files, noy simply because there are only 8, and not, like, 19.

  3. I felt the same about the cameos in ROW. They were honestly so fun to see, and I’m excited about the potential for more based on how those cameos happened. And I hope you love The Thief! It’s one of my favorite series, and I just about died over Eugenides every single book.

  4. I agree with Krysta, going out in bad weather can be great for nature viewing/photographing. Granted, I do sometimes have a hard time convincing myself to get out there at that time. It can be tough to tell sometimes whether it’s going to be light sprinkles or heavy downpours, and I’m not that keen on being out there during the heavy downpours. But it does cut down on other visitors. Of course, having the right kind of bad weather on a day you happen to have off is an entirely different matter… 🙂

  5. Some of my favorite vacation shots were taken while it was raining! I couldn’t get away from it in Iceland. I’d get somewhere, hike to the place, and it would start raining. Every time. But oh well. I had a rain jacket for myself, and one for my camera so I just kept shooting.

  6. I *hate* it when the library doesn’t have one of the books in a series. The absolute worst is when an audiobook is missing. Were you listening to physical audiobooks or digital? Physical makes sense but is irritating, as it might be just out of circulation for some reason. But digital is basically inexcusable. You poor woman. I feel for you.

    That waterfall looks awesome. I assume if you’re shooting something with moving water you need to do fancy photo things? I won’t pretend I understand it all – it’s like magic. I love that I know someone who knows how to do magic. 😉

  7. I was listening to the audiobook version of Rivers of London, and the sixth book was the only one they didn’t have on audio! They had the ebooks of the entire series, so I have no idea why they didn’t have all the audiobooks…

    If you want that silky water effect, you usually use a long shutter speed (at least two seconds) to actually show the water’s motion. In this case, since it was so sunny and the contrast between light and shadow was so stark, I also had to use a process called HDR. That involves taking multiple shots (dark to light) and combining them in Photoshop or something later on so you can actually see the detail in both light and dark areas. It’s a process that can be waaaay overdone (and kind of gets laughed at when overdone), but it can make for lovely shots you can’t get otherwise if you don’t go crazy on the post-processing.

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