The 21 Books I’ve Read So Far In 2017

I figured it was time to share what I’ve been reading latelyish.

My peak reading time is now somewhere between 11pm and 4am.  And there are now three TV-less nights a week in this house.  So, there’s that, too.

The Unseen World, Liz Moore – This book.  This effing book. I identified with Ada more than I care to admit, and as such, did not want this to end. Ten big, fat, teary stars.  Read it.

Once Upon A River, Bonnie Jo Campbell – One for my book group, this was one I started last year, but took into 2017 with me.  Beautiful, emotive writing.  Almost too much.

Did You Ever Have A Family, Bill Clegg – If you like small town gossip books, like I do, read this.  Not the book I expected when I started it, but I loved it.  Didn’t like the main characters as much as the rest of the chorus, but it all worked.

Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo – I picked this up because I’m interested in reading Six of Crows, but I wanted to start at the beginning.  I didn’t read YA when I was one, but I seem to be making up for it now.  Easier to follow then some others.  Really escapist and well-written.

Born A Crime, Trevor Noah – Ten stars for the audio version.  So good.  Want another book on his career.

The Wangs Vs The World, Jade Chang – I appreciated what was there, I just wanted more.

All The Missing Girls, Megan Miranda – 5 stars, and I finished this at 4 AM.  And I cried at the end.  Impatiently waiting for Megan Miranda’s next book.

My Sister’s Bones, Nuala Ellwood – This book got me out of an anxiety-induced reading slump.  Part 1 was 10 stars.  And it’s better than the books it is being compared to.  I finished this book in two days.  Which doesn’t happen often any more.

Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff  – Well, this was another one finished in two days.  The ending made me want to read the second instalment, which I haven’t finished.

Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard.  I marked this to begin my A to Z challenge, because I’d received it in a bookish Secret Santa.  Still haven’t got to the second book, but the calming colour-scheme used on the covers of all three is calling my name!

The Roanoke Girls, Amy Engel – Right so, one day I read about a book.  The next day I bought the book.  The day after that, I finished the book.  This was that book.  I didn’t know much about it going in, and I called it early.  And it was hard to read.  But I kinda want to start all over again.

The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena – At first I thought this was an exploitation of post-natal depression. At 50% I became more interested and less pissed off. Then I figured it out, and then there was the ending. Well, shit. At least it was a quick read.

Kill The Father, Sandrone Dazieri – Holy shit. What an actual roller-coaster this book is. And I haven’t been this invested in a quirky fictional duo since The Millennium books. And the writing was so beautiful and funny. The translation so fluid. And Italy. Of course. The actual case I wasn’t so down with, but bring on the next book. And y’all have to read this one.

My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante – Wow.  Had to finish this on a morning everyone else slept in. Didn’t agree with the portrayal of Lenu’s mother.  But the world of this book is beautiful and real.  I’ve lent this one to a local friend, and bought the rest of the series.

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The Lauras, Sara Taylor – LOVED THIS.  I believe this was my first 5- star rating on Netgalley, too.  Actually, all the stars.  Took this book on a road-trip, and it was the perfect companion.

My Name Is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout – This was another road-trip read.  Beautiful. Finished in about three hours.  And now I want to read everything Elizabeth Strout has written.

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologies, Fredrik Backman – While I was emotionally invested in this, I wish I’d liked it more than I actually did.

The Second Sister, Claire Kendal– Once I got into this it was an OK read, with some generally creepy elements and an interesting atmosphere. Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read this.

The Upside of Unrequited, Becky Albertalli – I loved Simon, and might love this a little more. I have a Cassie. She isn’t my twin, but my Lobsister. And I kind of married my own Reid. They are both going to read this. You should, too. And I want another book set in this universe.

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas – Loved this, didn’t want it to end.  But can we talk about the ending?

Saga, Volume 1, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples – I probably wouldn’t have found this on my own, but Litsy told me to read it.  And I’m glad I did.  Now reading Volume 2.

Some Notes:

No finished books for the readathon.  Because, life.

I’m up to G on my #LitsyAtoZ

I’ve discovered Netgalley.

I’m @LornaDH on Litsy and my goodreads has been kinda spruced up here.

What are you reading?

Everywhere

Weekend-Coffee-Share-Nerd-in-the-Brain-4The snow of a few weeks ago has melted and the sun has come out in Skye.  I’ve spent more time outside than in this week, and have been drinking more water than coffee.

I wore Isla’s sunglasses over mine when I picked her up at nursery, because when I do that it makes her laugh.  And her laughter is brighter than the sun that’s come out, dried us up and slightly fried our brains.

This week has included road-trips and picnics and stopping to let cows and sheep cross the road.

Isla made friends with two dogs, and conquered actually jumping on the trampoline.  Up to now, she’d just been standing in the middle looking really excited about a time in the future when she actually took a jump.

The future is now.  Or something.

One of the road-trips of the week was to check out a second-hand treadmill that now lives in Neil’s home-office.  (How many hyphens can I fit into one garden-path sentence?  Well.)

Neil actually used the treadmill this morning, while Isla and I played hide-and-seek.  Very early this morning.

We then made Isla go out and wash the car.  Isla asked to go out and help Neil wash the car.  I followed after with a book and the vain hope  of getting a tan on my other arm.

However.  And.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I miss you.  That I wish I was in Edinburgh listening to Constance Hall with you.  Or running with the books with you at The Strand.  Or helping you avoid writing up your placement notes.  Or having coffee with you.  In Australia.  Or Glasgow.  In your living-room.  Or in my kitchen.

In Levittown.  Or Miller Place.  In this year.  Or 1987.

I’d ask about your week.  And your life.  I’d throw you a book.  And give you a hug.  And we’d watch Isla on her trampoline.  Because I have a kid.  And she has a trampoline.

Hi.  Have a coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isla Says

Isla: Mummy, fix this. (teeny tiny plastic toy)
Me: (Trying) See, Isla, this is the kind of stuff Mummy needs help with. Because this toy is a little piece of-…
Isla: PLASTIC, Mummy.
Me: Yes, dearest. Plastic.

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(Welcome to the new thing where I share the funny stuff my kid says.  Hi.)

My TBR for Dewey’s Readathon

I’ve wanted to do a focused reading thing for AGES!  This year, I thought I’d take advantage of my general sleeplessness and participate in this year’s Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon

Books I hope to get to:

Idaho, Emily Ruskovich

If At Birth You Don’t Succeed, Zach Anner

Caraval, Stephanie Garber

Strange Weather In Tokyo, Hiromi Kawakami

Night Waking, Sara Moss

This list is fluid/might be completely rubbish.

I also have a graphic novel somewhere and some fun Kindle reads.  I’ll be taking a break to watch my sister-in-law run a half-marathon.  But I’ll bring a book.  I’ll also be dancing with Isla at regular intervals.

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EDIT:  I got the time wrong for my time-zone.  I DON’T CARE.  I read, I don’t do Math.

Starting 12am tonight/tomorrow.  Add 24 hours.  With a wrap-up post on Monday.

Who’s reading tonight?

Please share your lists/plans/coffee/snacks!

Merry Bookmas!

Home

I’ve wanted to update my About Me page for AGES.  Or four years.  Because somehow, I’m now 36.  Even stranger, my fiance has been my husband for nearly four years.  And the tiny human we made is now very tall and seventeen, nearly three years old.  They are awesome people and I’m glad we get to do life together.

However.  That’s not really About Me, is it?  But it’s been what I’ve been all about for awhile.  I no longer think in sentences, but Isla-isms and cartoon theme songs.  It’s a good day if Isla has a good day.  It’s a good night if I sleep.

We’ve moved to Skye from Edinburgh, into a house that’s needed more work than we originally thought.

I love our quirky house, but I’d love it more if we could plant it somewhere with neighbors.  And a bookstore.  And a Starbucks.  And my friends.

I’ve become accustomed to missing people.  Most of my friends are everywhere I am not.  Because I’ve moved a lot.  Before I met Neil, moving and starting over just seemed to be something I did.  I was good at it.  Until realised I didn’t want to do it anymore.

My first move was from Dallas to New York, I was a baby, but it counted.  I lived on both ends of Long Island, flitting between Mom’s house and Dad’s house and both sets of grandparents.

My Dad moved to Scotland when I was 12ish, and I started going back and forthish.  I was just a girl, landed at an airport asking the people of the country beyond its doors to love her.  I loved both.  I love both.  I’m from both.  I’m from neither.

I never kind of embraced my third-cultureishness, but there it is.

You tend to think about this stuff when you turn 36.  And you have conversations with your too-nearly-three year-old that go like this:

Isla:  Daddy’s from Embra.  So, where are you from, Mummy?

Me:  How long have you got?  Let’s just say Canada.

As I write this, I’m at my kitchen table in my kitchen on Skye, drinking coffee and eating cheese on toast.  The snow from two days ago has melted and I’m listening to country music.  Figure that out.

Neil is working from home as he does up here and Isla’s at school because she’s too smart, already.  We have New York magnets on the fridge.  Next to our penguin-in-a-kilt magnet.  I’m surrounded by books and those envelopes with bubble-wrap lining. I use them to send stuff to my friends, where ever they are.

I sometimes wonder if my confusing cultural clutter, even with it’s frequent-flyer positives, is well, confusing for Isla.  But then we have conversations like this:

‘Where are you from, Isla-Monkey?’

She avoids the question entirely.  I told you she was smart.

‘This is my home,’ she says.

‘Yeah.  Mine, too.’

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This is my home.

Sometimes, It Hurts.

And so, after painting all the pictures and doing all the puzzles, Isla and I went out.

We’ve paved around the house so we can have races and stuff, so there’s that. But we live on a hill.

‘Go over the stones and roll down the hill with me, Mummy.’

‘I can’t, baby. I wouldn’t get back up.’

‘Please, Mummy. Just try.’

Which is what we ask her to do.

So, I tried.

And my heart broke a little. Because Isla said, ‘That’s awight, Mummy. I’ll play on my own.’ And she did. And I angled away for a bit so she wouldn’t see me cry. Because she’s seen it before. Not a lot. And yet.

You can be the biggest advocate, with the filthiest sense of humour. You can shout for a living and then come home and just live.

But sometimes, CP hurts.

When strangers think Isla is my much younger sister, and she wants me to run down hills and get on the other end of a see-saw. That’s when it hurts.

Then you come in and you burst. But then you go on. Because there are trains to play with. And a nearly three year-old face to memorise.

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This is how we roll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee Talk And Blogging Goals

If we were having coffee, you couldn’t help but notice that we’ve blown all the fuses.  Isla is running around going, ‘My house is dark.  It ran out of batteries!’

Five minutes ago, we were watching Alice in Wonderland.  Now, Isla’s face is lit by my phone screen.  No, I can’t buy you that Lego set.  And please don’t post that egg video on Facebook.

In other news, what music do you listen to while taking down the Christmas tree?  Isla went into the living room this week and yelled, ‘Someone stole the Christmas tree!’  Yes, well, until next year.

I finished reading my third book of the year this morning (Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard) and my first read for this list.

While we’re here more bookish things:

I told Goodreads I’ll be reading 50 books, or more, this year.

And for every finished book, I’ll be putting a buck in Isla’s Swear Jar  my book jar.

If we were having coffee, I’d mention that I might be shifting the focus of this here blog, or getting back to writing and not just talking about it.

I’ve looked back on my posts, and my personal notebooks from this year and I’ve written a lot about not writing a lot.

And Neil recently mentioned that I haven’t written any fiction since we’ve been together.

So, there’s that.  Might really get back to writing a story a week.

And I might want to write even more about being a disabled mother, and a mother and  a third-culture kid who grew up to live on an island off another island, in a house that keeps blowing fuses.

Hi.

If we were having coffee I’d ask: What are your writing plans this year, or this week?

And: What would you like to read more of on this blog?

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My current read with Isla’s latest art.