September 2019 Reading Pile & Other New Books

Books & Mags

This month has been so epic on my book front! I got quite a haul from the library – I even had to put two books back on the shelf because of all of the ILLs that had arrived!

Library Pile September 2019

Top to bottom they are: Millenneagram: The Enneagram Guide for Discovering Your Truest, Baddest Self by Hannah Paasch, Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse, and Ursula Le Guin’s The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition (illustrated by Charles Vess). I also grabbed Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward by Gemma Hartley, and Flossie Teacake’s Guide to English Paper Piecing by Florence Knapp.

I also bought some books. Here are a few:

New Book Order Is in

From left to right: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers, Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse, and Kathleen Herbert’s Peace-Weavers & Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society.

Yes indeed, I had already nabbed Storm of Locusts from the library because my order was delayed, only to have the order arrive to my door within two days. Well, such is life. 🙂

I’m looking forward to diving into these, especially To Be Taught, If Fortunate. As soon as I heard Chambers had another Wayfarers universe book coming out I knew I had to get it. I adore her writing for its humanity. Before the publication date I saw Lee Mandelo’s review at Tor.com, which didn’t exactly help – among others Mandelo says the novella is a “reminder of our responsibilities to one another as a social group, not as lone individuals on solitary islands. None of us exist without each other, or survive without each other.” Right up my alley!

Can’t wait! 🙂

August 2019 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

Since I didn’t post this last month, here’s my August reading pile:

Reading Pile August 2019

From top to bottom: Norma by Sofi Oksanen, Hath No Fury edited by Melanie R. Meadors, and Susan Cooper’s young adult series The Dark Is Rising in a one-cover edition (Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark Is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree). Lastly, there is Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s excellent Gods of Jade and Shadow.

What’s on your TBR stack at the moment?

April 2019 Reading Pile

Books & Mags

My March reading piles stretched well into April, so my current pile isn’t that large:

Library Pile Apr 2019

The quality will make up for the quantity, though, or so I suspect: I have Kameron Hurley’s military time-traveling scifi novel The Light Brigade, Arkady Martine’s debut novel A Memory Called Empire, and The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore.

Can’t wait! 🙂

Anything intriguing in your pile? Do share!

A New Emma Production Is Filming

Arts & Crafts, Books & Mags, Thumbs Up

Great news for Janeites! Just after I blogged about the casting for Sanditon series penned by Andrew Davies, I found out that we’re about to get a new screen version of Emma!

Instagram Autumn de Wilde Emma Day1

Autumn de Wilde on Instagram.

It’s written by Eleanor Catton and directed by Autumn de Wilde. Neither name is familiar to me, but I do recognize a few names from the cast list released thus far: Bill Nighy plays Mr. Woodhouse and Miranda Hart Miss Bates – if her previous performances are anything to judge by, she’ll be brilliant! Anya Taylor-Joy heads the film as Emma; I have seen her in an episode of Endeavour, apparently, but unfortunately I don’t remember her.

The director-writer team sound new in the field: Emma is de Wilde’s first feature-long project (she’s previously worked as a photographer as well as music video and commercial director), and Catton has only written one miniseries before (based on her novel The Luminaries which won the Man Booker Prize in 2013; she’s the youngest author to win the literary award). That should guarantee a fresh take on the classic!

IMDB lists the movie as filming at this time, and MSN reports that release is expected in 2020.

I can’t wait – the world can never have too much of Jane Austen on screen if you ask me! 🙂

P.S.: Just FYI: this is not an April fool’s joke.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Cast Announced for Andrew Davies’ Miniseries Version of Sanditon

Books & Mags, Movies & TV

In 2018 we got news that a screen version of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon was being produced. Now we also know some of the cast!

Re-reading Jane Austens Lady Susan

According to the PBS, Rose Williams will play the protagonist Charlotte Heywood and Theo James appears as Sidney Parker, a young man she meets at the up-and-coming seaside resort of Sanditon. I have unfortunately not seen Williams before, but I know James from the Divergent movie series and one episode of Downton Abbey. The head of the Parker family, Tom Parker, will be played by Kris Marshall; I haven’t seen him on screen before either.

Lady Denham, another person of note in Sanditon, will be played by Anne Reid, whom I’ve seen in passing in episodes of the Doctor Who reboot and Doc Martin. Crystal Clarke was cast as Miss Lambe; she appeared in Assassin’s Creed and had a small role in both Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and Episode VII The Last Jedi but I can’t say that I remember her.

In addition to the cast list, IMDB has updated its listing for Sanditon. Yay, it’s really happening!

For a full cast list, visit the PBS article.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

March 2019 Reading Piles

Books & Mags

I got quite an awesome haul from the library:

Library Pile March 2019

In fiction I found The Afterwards by EK Johnston, The Song of All by Tina LeCount Myers, Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo and Ann Leckie’s The Raven Tower. On the non-fiction side, there’s Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister by Sheila Johnson Kindred.

I’m apparently really hungry for reading, for that’s not my only pile this month:

Reading Pile March 2019

From top to bottom: Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, Mem by Bethany C. Morrow, Home Fires by Julie Summers and the non-fiction title Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives by Jane Brox. Finally, there’s the not-quite-brand-new-anymore Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines.

In addition, I’m slogging my way through all of Agatha Christie’s Hercules Poirot books, slowly but surely. The latest I’ve gotten to is Mrs. McGinty’s Dead – a fascinating case hinging (in part) by the first name Evelyn, which can apparently be both male or female. I love the fact that despite a Master’s degree and 20+ years of daily use I still learn new things about English!

Anything special you’d recommend?

Some February 2019 Reads

Books & Mags

My February reading has been all over the place. Just look at this representative selection:

Reading Pile February 2019

From left to right: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell, Rogue Protocol plus Exit Strategy – the latest two in the Murderbot Diaries series – by Martha Wells and, finally, Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett.

In my youth, I read a lot of what was then called girl lit (or tyttökirja in my native Finnish). I’ve never read some of the classics in their original English, though, so I gave Little Women a shot. I have to say the young me missed so many of the nuances!

A Study in Honor, however, was the most refreshing take on the Sherlock Holmes & Doctor Watson duo I’ve come across. It was at times hard (and at times boring) to read about Watson’s PTSD, but once I started thinking of that part as formation of personality (like coming-of-age stories) it made more sense to me. Also, I LOVED how many women were present both in the fore- and background! It took me a while to get to book 1, but I liked it so much that the sequel, The Hound of Justice, will go directly to the top of my to-be-read pile.

And I just adore Murderbot! (Don’t let the name fool you!)

Anything you’ve especially liked recently? Do share!

January 2019 Recap

Newsletters

One of the new things I started at the beginning of 2018 is a month-end recap, a sort of newsletter light. Now I’ve completed the cycle with the first recap for 2019. Yay! 🙂

Speaking of cycles, tax time is rolling around again. I’ve been bogged down with tax prep more than usual at this time of the year.

2018 Jan Tax Work

Unfortunately, Etsy changed the way they bill and pay their sellers at the end of last year. The new system has had some glitches which have increased my bookkeeping workload significantly. I can’t wait to be done with the 2018 number crunching and get onto the tax forms themselves because it’ll feel so much easier – something I never, ever, thought I’d say!

Just past mid-January there was a snowstorm, the first snowfall for the year. Then a front of warm weather with rain pushed through and melted almost all of the snow. It was very pretty for all of four days!

One night right after the snow, we had someone scamper across our yard.

Tracks on Snow from Above

There’s a funny gap in the tracks (in the middle of the photo), though, which makes me wonder whether it might be a sign of a fox jumping to try and catch a critter under the snow. Like in the gif below (but probably much less showy).

Giphy BBC Earth Fox Jump

BBC Earth, via Giphy.

I had a small but very satisfying reading pile this month:

Library Reading Pile Jan 2019

From left to right, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by my favorite living author Nora Jemisin, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and Michelle Obama’s autobiography Becoming. I also read Ariah by R.B. Sanders and Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang. I’m looking forward to the last two Murderbot novellas, too, which I got as Christmas present. Yay, so many great reads!

On the screen, Husband and I were introduced to the tv series Modern Family by a friend. It’s a mocumentary of three generations of a Californian family. We’re bingeing through the seasons and have gotten up to seven, and are still enjoying it.

My goodness, I never would’ve thought that I’d find a mainstream (i.e., non-genre) family drama interesting, but I do. 🙂 Shows you what production values can do – specificially in this case, attention to quality character-writing and episode structure.

Now that I’ve written a full year’s worth of recap posts, it’s time to reassess. Even though it felt difficult at times, I certainly learned a lot and found that I do like an end-of-the-month look back.

I’m inclined to continue these newsletters, but I might dink around with the topics or proportions. Would you like to read more about something or maybe less about something else? Please let me know!

Reading N.K. Jemisin in honor of Martin Luther King Day

Books & Mags, This Is Important, Thumbs Up

Today the U.S. celebrates the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of the day, in support of people of color and in protest of the appalling inequality POC continue to experience in the U.S., I’m reading my favorite (living) author, Nora Jemisin.

Current Reading How Long Til Black Future Month

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? is a collection of short fiction from 2004 onwards and her latest book-length publication. I’m not sure whether she’d describe herself as an #ownvoices author. Whatever the case, her fiction continues to entertain, fascinate, and awe on so many levels.

I’m normally not a great friend of short stories (I prefer novels), but this collection is incredible. Not just her writing is beautiful and technically superb; she continues to open my eyes about the world, give me new ideas and hold me in thrall in equal measure.

Jemisin is also the first writer ever to have won the Hugo Award three years in a row, for all the individual installments of her recent Broken Earth trilogy. (The mere thought of it still gives me chills!) No wonder S.E. Fleenor in an article at SyfyWire listed Jemisin as one the most influential women in genre for 2018.

How are you spending your MLK Day?

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Some November 2018 Reads

Books & Mags

My latest book order came in at the end of October, but I haven’t cracked any of them open yet.

New Books Oct 2018

From left to right: Thoraiya Dyer’s Echoes of Understorey, Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, Emma Newman’s Before Mars, Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers and, finally, what sounds like a very interesting take on Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell.

November is already looking like a great reading month. Anything else you’d recommend?