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TSS: Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Books?

tssbadge1Good afternoon Saloners! I am currently facing the (first world) dilemma that I suspect all book lovers must face eventually – is there such a thing as too many books?

In my case, unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes.

I have four bookcases in my house, two large normal Ikea Billy style bookcases and two smaller ones, maybe about half that size. And they are all officially full of books. I definitely have a book acquisition problem. I have nearly 600 unread books (although fortunately about 100 of those are ebooks) and while a good portion of those are still living in my parents’ house in the United States, most of them seem to be living here in a house that is too small for them. My husband is patient and tolerant, far more than I am, but now the books have colonized the floor in front of the bookcases, and for him this is enough. So, I’m officially on a physical book buying ban, and I must read physical books rather than ebooks. I mean, I can read ebooks, but it means I have to wait even longer before acquiring new physical books. And, well, I like physical books.

Plus, I’m going on holiday next month, and I should probably think about saving money for that rather than buying books all the time.

So! The rules of the ban are as follows:

  1. No new physical books until after my birthday (January 12th), unless I can clear the floor and some shelf space first.
  2. Pre-ordered books are okay, if they were pre-ordered before today.
  3. Ebooks under £2 are also okay. They don’t take up any space and I’ve taken positive chances on a lot of books this way, then gone on to buy plenty of that author’s books (Jo Walton, perfect example) at normal prices.

Although I only decided on the ban a few days ago, I’m already wishing for various books, not helped by the fact that I like to spend time in my local Waterstone’s …

edward iiiEdward III and the Triumph of England in particular is calling my name – very, very loudly. I mean, how am I supposed to resist a book that is essentially about medieval chivalry, one of my very favourite subjects in the world? With difficulty, I think. The book focuses on the career of Edward III and his court after the victory at Crecy. This is already on my Christmas wish list. It’s also an absolutely beautiful book that would fit right in with my small but growing collection of history. Richard Barber wrote or contributed to a couple of books I used for my MA dissertation (which was actually on chivalry but at a slightly later date) so this is guaranteed to be fascinating for me.

the windup girl

The Windup Girl caught my eye in the bookstore yesterday. The summary from Amazon:

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s calorie representative in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, he combs Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs long thought to be extinct. There he meets the windup girl – the beautiful and enigmatic Emiko – now abandoned to the slums. She is one of the New People, bred to suit the whims of the rich. Engineered as slaves, soldiers and toys, they are the new underclass in a chilling near future where oil has run out, calorie companies dominate nations and bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.

And as Lake becomes increasingly obsessed with Emiko, conspiracies breed in the heat and political tensions threaten to spiral out of control. Businessmen and ministry officials, wealthy foreigners and landless refugees all have their own agendas. But no one anticipates the devastating influence of the Windup Girl.

It just sounds exactly like the kind of science fiction that I’m into right now and it went straight on the wishlist.

year of the demon

I loved – and I mean really, really loved – Steve Bein’s first book in this series, Daughter of the Sword. I was thrilled to learn that the second book was releasing sooner than I’d hoped, but it looks like I’ll have to wait a little bit longer to get my hands on this.

iron kingdom

Iron Kingdom was one of the books referenced in Vanished Kingdoms. I feel like I don’t know nearly enough about Prussia to properly understand more recent European history and that recommendation sealed the deal for me. I really want to add this to the aforementioned slowly-growing collection of history. It’s sitting on my wishlist, waiting for that time when I’ve cleared off shelf space.

What are you wishing for? Have you run out of shelf space yet?

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The Sunday Salon: A-Z

tssbadge1Nicked from Jodie at Bookgazing (whose blog and collaborative blog, Lady Business, you should be reading) – I’ve seen this around and thought it would be fun.

Author you’ve read the most books from:

This is tricky because I’m not entirely sure. I read a LOT of series and I have a number of romance authors that I gorged on in high school. Julia Quinn and Stephanie Laurens loom pretty largely in my LibraryThing even though I’ve not read a book from the latter in years. Stephen King is another one, although again I haven’t read his latest books.

Best Sequel Ever: 

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews – possibly not ever but best I can think of. I really fell in love with the Kate Daniels series at the third book, but in the second book I started to feel like I was getting there.

Currently Reading: 

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. I’m nearly finished with it. Next up is Mrs Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini.

Drink of Choice While Reading: 

I mostly just drink water, sometimes tea in the morning.

E-reader or Physical Book? 

I’m happy reading both. I prefer the look, feel, and smell of physical books, but my Kindle is perfect for books I don’t think I want to keep forever in this space-limited house. Plus, commuting. I can’t carry hardcovers on the train, but the Kindle lets me read huge chunksters without worry.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: 

Reading more YA would help with this question. I am not sure. Boring answer! Maybe Harry Potter. I have always liked geeky boys.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: 

Young Miles by Lois McMaster Bujold. Hello, science fiction, I actually like you! Well, more specifically, space opera – but this series changed my view of what I did and didn’t like irrevocably.

Hidden Gem Book:

I always think of Guy Gavriel Kay when I think about hidden gems. Now that I’m into book blogging I know I’m not the only one that loves his books, but I still feel like they don’t get enough recognition. I’ve got River of Stars calling my name at this very moment and I can’t wait to read it.

Important Moment in your Reading Life: 

The year I discovered LibraryThing, 2006. I had no idea that so many people felt the way I did about books. I’d certainly never met anyone in real life who did and the community there changed everything. It also led to many things, including this blog. Starting the blog was a pretty big deal, too.

Just Finished: 

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa. The only series I’ve ever read where the heroine shares my name (Meghan) although not my taste in guys, that’s for sure.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I’m with Jodie, no self-help or diet books. I also don’t tend to like books set in the current, modern US or UK. I’ll read them if they’re valuable and well-reviewed, but they don’t draw me in naturally.

Longest Book You’ve Read: 

I have read War and Peace. I don’t remember any of it (this was 8 years ago) and I’m pretty sure I read a poor translation. But I read it.

Major book hangover because of: 

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. That book left its stamp on me fiercely, despite its quiet nature.

Number of Bookcases You Own: 

In the UK, two big ones, two small ones. In the US, two big ones and a small section of the wall next to one of them …

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: 

I read Prince Charming by Gaelen Foley 8 times in high school. I’m afraid to read it now since I’ve been so disappointed with what Gaelen Foley has written in the last couple years.

Preferred Place To Read: 

On the couch, downstairs, with the sun coming in the windows.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: 

I’m going to go with one of the latest quotes on my Kindle from The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente:

“September had never been betrayed before. She did not even know what to call the feeling in her chest, so bitter and sour. Poor child. There is always a first time, and it is never the last time.”

Reading Regret: 

Skipping longer books I’ll probably love in favor of shorter books that I can read faster. Not re-reading my favorite books often enough.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series): 

The Wheel of Time. I can’t believe the series has been finished for months and I still haven’t persuaded myself to read the rest.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books: 

Two favorites, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. And a third favorite, mentioned earlier, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Unapologetic Fangirl For: 

The Miles Vorkosigan series. I’ve pointed so many people in the direction of those books, in real life as well as online – I hope at least a few have started reading them.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: 

New Sarah Waters just announced!

Worst Bookish Habit: 

I share this habit with Jodie – I buy books and am thrilled to have them and then wait years to read them.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: 

The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh. Not yet read. Meant to read a long time ago. See above.

Your latest book purchase: 

Went to the bookstore yesterday to support the Books Are My Bag promotion and bought these lovelies:

  • Spain: A History, Raymond Carr
  • Germania, Simon Winder
  • The Rough Guide to Andalucia

I also bought Higgs Force by Nicolas Mee for my husband.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): 

I may be the only book lover that just can’t do this. I fall asleep even when I’m totally in love with a book unless I’ve had a lot of sleep recently. Usually it happens when I’m reading a romance novel as I can get through them in a couple of hours each.

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The Sunday Salon: Currently Back Home

tssbadge1Time // A very jetlagged 16:21

Place // Still at my desk – despite attempts to write posts on the iPad, I’ve not been hugely successful yet.

Eating // A chicken salad, slightly earlier.

Drinking // Water

Reading // I finally finished Vanished Kingdoms last week, just before I left for a week at home in the United States. I’ve read a lot since then; I managed to finish The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters, Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford, and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker this week! I’m now solely reading Skinwalker by Faith Hunter, which is the start in yet another urban fantasy series that I hope to finish at some point this evening.

Watching // We still haven’t finished either House of Cards or Babylon 5! We should be making some headway into both this week, though.

Cooking // I made Lazy Layered Eggplant a second time and it did indeed turn out better when I added more spices. This week I’m hoping to make my own version of chicken saag (potentially following this recipe) as it’s my favorite curry and it would be lovely to have without resorting to a takeaway.

Learning // I passed my driving test! Now I need to find something new to learn, although I have a feeling I’ll still be learning how to drive our car instead of the instructor’s for some time.

Now that my next trip is to Spain, I’m going to start reading some medieval Spanish history. Starting with this book:

moorish spain

Gaming // I’m installing Rome II: Total War as we speak and can’t wait for it to be ready! It’s received some rave reviews so far and, while I am typically pretty appallingly bad at Total War games, I also completely love them.

Loving/Hating // I love that I have read so many amazing books lately; I kind of hate that I haven’t written any reviews for them yet! It’s been very quiet around here lately.

Anticipating // Our trip to Spain in November; sleeping in my own bed again after a week away; reading Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire!

As usual credit goes to Kim for the Currently format!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday and have a great week ahead!

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The Sunday Salon

tssbadge1I’ve decided to try using the “Currently” format, which I first saw over on Kim’s blog, for my Salon this week. I changed some bits, though, to suit me a little better.

Time // 13:13

Place // At my desk in our computer room

Eating // Nothing at the moment, but pizza is for lunch I think!

Drinking // A glass of water

Reading // I’m now deep into Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-forgotten Europe by Norman Davies, which is just as fascinating as I thought it would be when I first got it. Davies delves into the history of the various countries and states that didn’t make it to the present, and which have been forgotten through the years. So far, I’ve read about a kingdom in Scotland (Alt Clud), one in modern-day Spain (Tolosa) and am now reading about Litva, which was in eastern Europe and was formerly the area around Belarus.

I’ve also just barely started Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells which is an anthology of “gaslamp fantasy” edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling – basically, fantasy set in the 19th century. I’m hoping to read a few of the stories this afternoon.

Watching // We’re still watching Babylon 5 at home and with a friend we’re watching House of Cards. I’m not even sure how I feel about the latter show, because it’s so immoral and extreme, but I love Babylon 5. I think we’ll also go see Elysium in the movie theater next weekend.

Cooking // I’ve been making an effort when it comes to cooking over the last few weeks. I tend to try to make at least one recipe from my Pinterest board each week. Last week I made Potato and Goat’s Cheese Gratin, which was lovely and went really well with fish but needed more time in my oven, unfortunately. I also made Lazy Layered Eggplant which will also be made again in my kitchen! I needed to up the spices just a tad but the flavors were wonderful.

Learning // I’m still learning to drive. I’ve been learning to drive for months now and I actually am physically capable of driving a manual car with relative ease now (at last). I had to delay my test because I went home for my grandma’s funeral right at the time where I was meant to take it, and because booking it is so slow, have had to wait an additional two months. But it’s coming up soon, and my fingers are crossed!

Gaming // I’ve recently purchased the latest Civilization V expansion pack, Brave New World, which is great fun when I feel like investing a couple of hours into building my own little civilization. 

Loving/Hating // Mainly I love that I’m actually continuing to feel inspired with my cooking. I’ve been making lunches for my husband and myself and have really been focusing on buying more fresh and less packaged foods. We still buy back-up frozen fish and vegetables, but it’s so nice knowing that we’re sticking to healthier choices.

Anticipating // In the immediate future I’m really looking forward to next Monday’s bank holiday. I love free days off work, and this is our last one until Christmas. A three day weekend always means I’m just slightly more energized for work. In the longer term I can’t wait for my trip to Spain in November. I’ve already started planning out what books I’m going to read beforehand and what days we’ll be spending where. We haven’t been out of the country on a proper trip except to visit my parents for two years, so I’m thrilled to be going somewhere new at last. This will also be our longest holiday together, since we’re finally able to go for a week.

I’m also anticipating finally selling the flat we’ve owned in Wolverhampton for years; getting rid of that burden will mean we can start saving for our future much more than we do now, and actually begin to make plans about it. I can’t wait!

How is your Sunday going?

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The Sunday Salon: An exceptionally late June 2013 Reading Wrap-Up

tssbadge1Hello everyone. It’s been silent here for one of the longest stretches in blogging memory, and I only managed to post a review last week because I’d written it significantly ahead of time. My family have had a rough week and a half as my grandma passed away last Sunday night, and I flew home to the United States last Tuesday for her wake and funeral. My grandma was a wonderful woman, and my favorite grandparent by far, so this has been a difficult time, and was a really hard end to June. But at least her struggles are over and she can rest in peace, and life will now resume some semblance of normality for the rest of my family too.

As you can imagine, I spent a lot of June buried in books. And not writing reviews of them. I really had very little enthusiasm or energy for anything at all. I had a brief period where I started to get my energy back and I had three days of posts in a row, and I’m hoping that will happen again and stick around this time in a couple of weeks. I’ve read so many amazing books and I really do want to talk about them, so I intend to do so eventually, even if only in mini reviews. (And this week I will choose winners of my giveaway – apologies to those waiting for the news!) I’m as usual reading a lot of series, and I think I’ll probably write little cluster reviews rather than individually review books, like with the Confederation novels by Tanya Huff.

Fiction

  • The Heart of Valor, Tanya Huff
  • The Enchanted April, Elizabeth von Arnim
  • Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters
  • Deception, Kris Kennedy
  • Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone
  • The Better Part of Darkness, Kelly Gay
  • Have His Carcase, Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Gaudy Night, Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Busman’s Honeymoon, Dorothy L. Sayers (yes, I went on a binge)
  • Graveminder, Melissa Marr
  • Shapeshifted, Cassie Alexander
  • Elisha Barber, E. C. Ambrose

Non-fiction

  • Pompeii, Mary Beard
  • The Churchills, Mary S. Lovell

Favorites of the Month

gaudy nightthe heart of valor pompeii

 

I continue to love the Confederation novels; The Heart of Valor made me instantly buy the next two in the series, after which I *think* it ends. I also spent a good week immersed in the world of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, but Gaudy Night was (predictably) my favorite, as it not only brings up a lot to think about and an interesting perspective on academia for women at the time, but also shows Harriet’s opinion of Peter changing beautifully for the better. And Pompeii was just fascinating. All recommended.

What’s Ahead in July

More posts, I hope! Here are the books I have lined up to read over the course of the rest of this month:

July 2013 reads

I’m actually looking forward to all of these books without exception. You can see that I want to finish the Confederation novels, as they’re both on the pile. And look, there are even two works of historical fiction, so I might actually feature a book that is in my “niche”. Crazy.

What’s ahead for you in July?

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TSS: The Holiday that Wasn’t

tssbadge1Good afternoon Saloners! I’m glad to say that I think I’m finally on the mend today; after a flu / cold-like illness struck last Saturday while camping, followed by conjunctivitis in both eyes later on in the week, I am approaching normal and very happy about that. We’ve had a chilled out weekend and done very little, which has been great. Mostly, I’ve been reading, and we finished watching the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I’m not sure I ever wrote anything about the holiday that we intended to have last weekend. I’ve been working really hard the last few months to get in better shape. I’ve never been overweight, but since I’ve been married I have definitely gained a few pounds and my fitness level had rock-bottomed around the beginning of the year. After a completely exhausting walk at Robin Hood’s Bay earlier this year, I decided I’d had enough – I didn’t want to be so unhealthy, even if I still looked okay. So I’ve been working out really consistently and, as a little test, we planned to climb Ben Nevis in Scotland, the highest mountain in the UK, last weekend. It’s not terribly challenging; plenty of people who aren’t incredibly fit go up Ben Nevis all the time, but it would still be a nice accomplishment.

We also wanted to visit Gretna Green, that infamous place where all the characters in Regency romances go to elope, and take a ride on the Jacobite steam train, which goes on the same track as used for the Hogwarts Express and is purportedly the most beautiful train ride in the country.

We set off on Friday, and after a minor blip with our car which resulted in an hour’s delay and having to skip Gretna Green on Friday, we finally reached the Highlands.

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The mountains are gorgeous and, to my surprise, still had snow on them! Given that these two days were the first all year I’d been able to spend without a jacket, it seemed really bizarre.

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The campsite was also beautiful, nestled into a little green valley with lots of sunshine.

On Saturday we attempted the Ben Nevis climb, but I was already feeling unwell so we didn’t even get close to making it up and went back to the tent to read in the sunshine for the afternoon. The highlight of the day ended up being a lovely dinner, starting off with drinks to this view over Loch Leven:

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And ending with this immense plate of locally grown mussels for me.

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Unfortunately that was the end of Saturday night and we skipped the rest of the trip to go home early on Sunday – but it’s a holiday that we will need to repeat, as there was so much I wanted to do and simply didn’t get to. Hopefully we can take another long weekend away camping this year, and I’d much prefer not to get sick the next time.

I’m now going to attempt to do something crazy and write some book reviews. Wishing you all a lovely Sunday and a Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!

 

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TSS: Read-a-thon Wrap-Up Post

tssbadge1Well, I didn’t do very well with posting on my blog during this particular Read-a-thon, did I? I saw quite a few people posting on Tumblr and then linking their updates back to a main post, and I think I might just do that next time. I checked in on Twitter every so often and I’m looking forward to going around and seeing how everyone did a bit later on this afternoon.

deweys-readathonbuttonMy time zone in the UK makes the Read-a-thon’s hours a little bit awkward; it officially runs from 1 pm on Saturday to 1 pm on Sunday. There is simply no way that I can stay up all night and then until 1 pm, much less go to work on Monday, so I’ve never actually tried, but I like that I still get to spend Sunday morning reading away and generally getting one last book in before the event is over. It’s even easier now that my schedule seems to ensure I’m up around 7 or 7:30 on the weekend, so I had hours to read Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire and try to make some progress in The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark.

That makes now perfect to answer the questions around the End of Event meme:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

I suppose the hour in which I fell asleep, which was around my 11 pm. I have no stamina these days, especially not after waking up early and taking a driving theory test, so it’s something of a surprise that I didn’t fall asleep at 9!

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

My choices were all good until the last book – I always go for short books that I know I can read quickly. This time fantasy was all I managed to read.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Nope!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I’m not sure I spent enough time on the website or doing any of the challenges to notice – I liked how visible the hosts were on Twitter, though, when I did pop in to check.

5. How many books did you read?

Two full books and parts of two more.

rivers of london6. What were the names of the books you read?

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones, Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire, and The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark.

  • 7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Probably Midnight Blue-Light Special although I also really liked the first two. No stand-out loves.

  • 8. Which did you enjoy least?

I’m really struggling with The Sleepwalkers. It’s all about the origins of World War I and I’m finding it incredibly difficult to keep up with the parts about eastern Europe. I simply don’t know the region or any of the history which makes it slow going for me.

9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I hope to still be reading!

Now I’m off to write some reviews, hopefully, so that this blog doesn’t stay silent this week, and check out some posts.

Did you read or cheer this time around? How did you do?

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The Sunday Salon

tssbadge1The book industry is full of dismaying news lately. Lots of book bloggers thinking about abandoning ship, Amazon buying Goodreads (although since I mostly use LibraryThing, this isn’t a huge issue for me), uproar about the Hugo awards; it doesn’t seem like anything good has happened in the last few weeks.

So, instead, I will tell you about the first proper walk of the year. Last weekend we went to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire coast, a lovely little seaside town, and walked down the old railway path and then along the shore.

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The railway path

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The coastline looking towards Robin Hood’s Bay

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The coastline looking back from Robin Hood’s Bay

I didn’t actually do much reading despite having four days off with the bank holidays, but I’ve been making up for it since. Here’s the pile of what I am looking forward to in the rest of April:

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Apologies that the picture is a little bit blurry, but I think you can see that the urban fantasy focus is still strong. I’m up to date on a few of my favorite series, so I’m both trying new ones and continuing with some that weren’t necessarily my favorite on the first read, and there are lots of small ones that I can take on the train with me.

I’m also going to try and power through all the books I’ve acquired over the time I’ve been using Amazon Vine. In the US, they’ve tightened the rules so that everything you’ve received must be reviewed before you can request anything else, and I imagine the UK can’t be far behind. The program is useful for actually selecting books that I don’t get offered for review but am anxious to read as soon as I possibly can (see The Crane Wife above), so I’d prefer to stick with them while I can.

How’s your April going?

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TSS: Where is spring?

tssbadge1I wish I could share some adventures with you this week, Saloners, but sadly the weather here is still firmly stuck in winter and we haven’t much felt like going anywhere. Well, that’s not true; I’d happily travel somewhere, but having started a new job, opportunities for longer holidays are few and far between for a couple of months. The spring cleaning fever has hit us without the spring, though; we spent Monday night on a trip to Ikea and now our house is full of boxes and things pulled out of their places to be reorganized. No bookshelves this time, although like most book lovers I am perpetually running out of space for the many books that seem to find their way into my home. Nope, this time we are reorganizing the bedroom, but in the middle of building a bunch of furniture, my husband overdid it and now we’ve got boxes lying around for a week or so while he recovers.

I did have something unusual happen to me this week, though; on the train on Thursday morning, I spotted an unoccupied seat and without thinking, sat down. Next to me was a Japanese man who proceeded to chat to me about the weather in York, the daffodils which sadly haven’t come up yet (remember last year?) and then asked if I liked roses. He proceeded to whip out a piece of colored paper and created this:

origami rose

I was so impressed! The rose now lives on my desk at work, a nice little reminder that complete strangers can surprise you with their generosity and friendliness.

In bookish news, I finished two completely different books:  The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, which I loved up until the ending, and The Devil’s Heart by Cathy Maxwell, the last of the Chattan curse trilogy, which was okay. I’m now in the middle of Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones, which is dragging considerably in the second half of the middle after an engaging beginning. I hope it picks up by the end.

And now I’m off to go practice driving and recycle some of the boxes that are littering my house. I hope you all have lovely weeks and that spring arrives very soon!

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TSS: A Long Week

tssbadge1This week felt like it crawled by. I started my new job a couple of weeks ago, and while I think it’s going to be miles better than my old job for a variety of reasons, the newness of it wipes me out. The actual type of work isn’t new, but learning a new process and meeting new people and getting used to everything is flat out exhausting. Not to mention the fact that I now have a real commute, which I never had before. In my first job, I could walk to work, and in my last job, a friend nearby who worked at the same company took me in. Now, I walk to the train station, take the train, and walk to work, which means I actually leave home almost an hour earlier than I used to. I do realize that this simply means I was absurdly lucky for three years and it’ll be fine once I’m used to it, but two weeks isn’t long enough to get used to it.

There is one huge perk to this travelling, though, and it’s the fact that I’m reading far more. I’ve finished 8 books so far this month, double what I’d read in January or February so far, which feels fantastic. My TBR number is going down! I have more reviews to write in order to catch up, but it’s really nice to have 50 minutes every day that are set aside just to read.

The other perk? I now work in the middle of a city, which means I have access to more or less anything I like at lunchtime. This does lead to impulse purchases, like these adorable shoes:

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I’ve also recently discovered that there is an American candy shop both in my new work city and where I live, which means there will be lots more of this in my life:

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That makes me happy, too. I love root beer and it’s been really hard to find in the UK, at least the American style root beer that I like, but no longer.

So, this week might have been long, and I might be a little overwhelmed by the new job, but it’s not all bad by any means!

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