October and November TBR (a.k.a. P. Pufferfish’s first ever TBR)

For the past 18 or so hours, I’ve been reading fanfiction and hemming and hawing, trying to decide what to read next now that I’m done with Lady Midnight and won’t be getting Lord of Shadows anytime soon ’cause I was a fool and didn’t bother putting it on hold until 2 days ago. I’m listening to The Clockwork Dynasty, by Daniel Wilson, on audiobook (read by David Giuntoli and Claire Coffee of Grimm fame!) so I’ve been walking around with it playing on my phone, listening while I do laundry, brush my teeth, etc. I have Son of Neptune on CD to listen to in my car. I’ve been slooooowly making my way through Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren, but I usually only read a chapter or two of that in the morning or afternoon ’cause it’s nonfiction. I need a different fiction book to read, though, and I have a stack to pick from, but which one to read first?!

I can’t choose, so I’m just going to set an overambitious goal and say I’m reading ALL of them. I finally get why people do #toberead posts. I’m one of those people who read whatever they see that catches their eye regardless of what they currently have in their stack of unread books already. I also read whatever book gets automatically checked out to me next on the holds list, so any TBR list I create would have to keep shifting and be pretty much unpredictable, unless I want to sit down and calculate which book I’m most likely to get based on where I am on the holds lists. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

It’s, what, October 23rd? That’s one week till the end of the month, so this TBR will have to be an end of October/November TBR. Fall TBR? I guess. Anyways, here’s what I have:

  1. American Elsewhere, by Robert Jackson Bennett. I’ve heard this book reminds people of the Nightvale podcast, which I’m a fan of, so I checked it out on e-book. It’s due in 2.5 weeks, I think.
  2. The Black Witch, by Laurie Forest. There was a LOOOOOOT of controversy surrounding this book, which is how I first heard about it, although many people say that it’s very good. I read some of the passages that were considered problematic and, while the language makes me uncomfortable, I’m pretty sure it’s fucking supposed to. The point of the book is to show what it’s like to move from your stuffy, conservative, racist hometown to a diverse area where you’re forced to interact with those who are different from you on a daily basis and how that can change a person, especially a young person. It makes sense to me to show the level of ignorance and intolerance the protagonist has been exposed to all her life so that we get where she’s coming from and can see why these beliefs are wrong. Anyways, I HAD TO KNOW if complaints were justified after I read some articles about people hating on this book, so I checked it out…. aaaaand left it on my couch for 3 weeks. I managed to renew it, so now I have 2.5 weeks left to read it. Do I read this one or American Elsewhere first? I kind of want to read this, ’cause I just read Lady Midnight and am in a supernatural, elves-fey-vampires kind of mood, BUT… it’s in print. I’m too lazy to read books in print nowadays. I don’t like carrying the book around and it makes it harder to read in bed. I still read print books ’cause sometimes, the library only has the book in print or Amazon sells the print book for the same price/for a LOWER price than the e-book, for some inexplicable reason, but I greatly prefer e-books.
  3. Dracula, by Bram Stoker. It’s Halloween, which means it’s time for my annual reread of one of my favorite novels! It’s been unseasonably warm this year, so I feel like I forgot it’s October and have been procrastinating on starting this. In fact, I didn’t remember until last night that there’s only a week left in the month. Shame on me!
  4. Prince Lestat, by Anne Rice. Last night, when I was lying there in the dark waiting to fall asleep, I randomly started missing my old friend Lestat. The Vampire Chronicles ruined me for all other vampire novels (aside from Dracula), so I occasionally reread them, but I’ve never managed to finish Memnoch the Devil. Anne Rice says Memnoch is her favorite book, so I should really try to finish it, but in my head, The Vampire Chronicles ends with Tale of the Body Thief. Wha’s all this other crap I hear about Lestat falling in love with a witch from a crossover story? Nope! Nope, nope, nope! I think I’ll just skip however many books and jump straight into Prince Lestat, which I’ve heard good things about. Can I do that? Can I make-believe books 5-whatever don’t exist and still have the story make sense to me? Anyone know?
  5. Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy, by Cassandra Clare. Apparently, I was supposed to read this BEFORE Lady Midnight? Oops. I saw that the library where I work has a copy, so I ran upstairs to grab it, and it WASN’T THERE. Now I have to put it on hold and have it sent from another library. Damn. Hate it when that happens. This one should be a quick read, though, so I’ll probably read a story per day when I get it.
  6. The Crimson Campaign (Book #2 of The Powder Mage Trilogy), by Brian McClellan. I’ve had this book on my couch for 1.5 months. I kept forgetting to read it. I just checked it in and checked it out to myself again today. Thank goodness no one had it on hold. I’ll have to read it asap. I don’t even know why I’m lagging– I loved the first book.

All right, that’s what I have for now. Wait a minute! Now that I’ve listed this out, I only have 6 books! I can get through these in 2-3 weeks! What was I even freaking out about? Oh yeah, library due dates. Hmm. I also have a ton of children’s books on my TBR list, but I’ll put those up when I finally start updating the Children’s Reviews page. I’ll do it… soon. Next week. Next month. Someday…

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P. Pufferfish works another day

What happened today: Arrived early to work (shock of the century). Boss was nowhere to be seen. Turns out she’s out interviewing potential new employees. If only she could’ve been out last week, when I ran in 6 minutes late due to unexpected traffic. Still not sure if she saw me (she probably did), and I’m already at my max number of tardies for the year, so this time next week, I might be out of a job. I did apply for another job last night (not just because I think I’m going to be fired) that I really want, so I hope I get an interview. Sibling and coworkers think I’m being overdramatic as usual. Perhaps. I like to be as negative as possible when it comes to my own life in order to avoid being blindsided. I do love my current job (location, coworkers, boss, everything), and being fired would make things very inconvenient, so deities, please let me stay. *Clasps hands*

crytoheavenOver the weekend, I finished Cry To Heaven, a lesser-known novel by Anne Rice that I found randomly on a list somewhere. Boy, was it something different! As a (very open-minded) fan of The Vampire Chronicles, I thought I was ready for anything Anne Rice threw at me. Sex? Gay sex? Promiscuity? Obsession? Bring it on! Was still bewildered as fuck by some of the scenes in the book. The first fourth of it was pretty calm, pretty interesting. Two boys, Guido and Tonio, “narrate” the story (it uses 3rd-person POV). Guido is a castrato, sold into the life by his family. He does very well for himself up until he hits puberty, when his voice changes and his chances of becoming a world-famous singer vanish. Tonio is the heir to the wealthy, powerful Treschi family of Venice. His mom is decades younger than his dad. She’s a gifted musician/singer, but she suffers from depression and spends most of her time sleeping, drinking, and neglecting Tonio (unhappy mothers– seems to be a thing with Anne Rice’s books). The only time she hangs out with him is when they’re practicing music, which he also excels at. In fact, the only escape these two have from their isolation and misery is music. Teenaged Tonio starts roaming the city with some musician friends, singing for the masses and sleeping with a barmaid. He starts to really garner attention and this is where all the trouble starts! The reveals in the earlier parts of the book are predictable and Guido is all scowly while Tonio is understandably timid and unbearably dutiful/dull, and thus, I wasn’t super into the story until the second chunk of it, when the two characters actually meet (it was a predictable meeting with a predictable outcome, but that’s when the story starts getting better). I won’t say anymore about the plot, other than that I liked seeing believable character development and growth on the part of Tonio. He changes as a result of his experiences, but he still remains essentially himself. As usual, Anne Rice does an excellent job of bringing the world of singers/performers/musicians/artists to life. The protagonists and many of the supporting cast are linked together by their passion for their work, whether it’s songwriting, singing, or painting (I have an addictive personality, and I totally get it), and for one another (this, I don’t get as much, because like Lestat, Tonio falls in love every other chapter or something).

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads because I liked it (I’m also an easy grader), especially the middle chunk of it. I also have to add that I downloaded the ebook from my library/workplace’s Overdrive collection, which gave me more incentive to read faster, since it forces you to renew/return the book after one week. Speaking of the library,

during my commute today, I continued listening to The Golden Compass audiobook I borrowed. I’m 2/3 of the way through, and it’s so much better this time around! The audiobook cast is also great. I originally read this trilogy for class years ago. I was the same age as Lyra then, and I thought she was sullen, obnoxious, and disrespectful. Listening to it again in my twenties, I think she’s hilarious. She’s quick-witted and gutsy, way more capable than I was when I was her age. I’ve  recently “reread” several books I read as a child/teenager, and it’s fascinating how one’s perspective/opinion changes with age. I’m definitely going to get the rest of the trilogy on audiobook.

During dinner, I ate leftover mostocioli and drank a glass of Sterling Vintner merlot, 2013 (delicious). Then I ate some lemon thin Oreos and continued drinking the merlot (not so delicious– can you ever pair Oreos with wine?). I also finished watching ChristopherOdd’s walkthrough for We Happy Few on Youtube. It’s an early access version, so it cuts off abruptly, but his walkthrough, and SplatterCatGaming’s, have provided me and the sib with our (sometimes laugh-out-loud) dinnertime entertainment for the past week. We’re considering buying the game when it comes out.

After dinner, I took my customary nighttime walk while listening to ep. 1 of Alice Isn’t Dead (a new-ish podcast from the Night Vale people). It was brilliant! The episodes are narrated by a female truck driver (I have never seen a female truck driver in my life, so this is a big deal here) who is delivering deodorant and searching for her missing wife, Alice. It starts out pretty normal. She’s driving on the interstate. She thinks about her wife. She goes to a diner. She sees a monstrous-looking fellow diner. She watches the monstrous-looking fellow diner eat someone in the parking lot and drives away in fear. It’s crazy, and I’m into it already! I saw (did not read) an article this morning about getting more people to read with serialized fiction. Looks like we’re going back in time by a couple hundred years. Wasn’t Count of Monte Cristo released in chunks in a weekly publication? And with the new podcast obsession, it’s like radio plays never left. Am I complaining? Nope. I am thrilled. I love storytelling through different mediums (the way Overwatch is doing with their game/trailers/comics).

Right now, I’m going to go back to The Raven King. I actually pre-ordered the book, but didn’t get it until halfway through finals week, so I put off reading it “until after finals”. Then my typical “can’t let go of fictional characters” mindset (see Downton Abbey, which I finally finished two weeks ago after much internal strife) kicked in and I ended up not picking it up again until 3 AM on Saturday night. I read through most of Sunday, but ended up going out with a friend, so I still have about 80 pages left to go. But do I want to finish? Not really. Maggie Stiefvater created such amazing characters! Where will I ever find such amazing YA characters again?

I’ll keep you posted here.