The Sunday Post // 21 August 2016

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimberly of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s an opportunity to share news, recap the week, showcase books and things we have received, talk about what’s coming up next week, and anything else you’d like! In addition, I feature what I’m reading, playing, watching, and/or listening to, showcase new additions to my TBR shelf, and discuss any other general geekery that I want to share.

News

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Nothing like watching your husband and baby play together to give you the feels.

Huge news this week in the baby department: two-month-old Oliver is now picking up his toys (and proudly flailing them around, to my amusement), gently falling asleep without hours of colicky crying (I don’t even know what to do with myself anymore now that I’m not up till 2 am doing a million things to soothe him!), falling back to sleep after waking up before he’s ready (omg), not requiring me to hold him at all times and enjoying time in his Baby Bjorn bouncy chair instead (such a life-saver), having a ball practicing walking, and learning to crawl!! It’s almost unbelievable to me the advancements he’s made in just this past week alone. His sleep schedule has become predictable, he actually falls asleep when he’s tired now (with a little help, of course), he’s constantly happy, and he seems to feel confident that he’s safe here. It felt so strange on Tuesday when he let me cook and eat an entire meal while simply hanging out with his toys in his bouncy chair — it was the least needed I’ve felt since he was born. My little guy is already becoming so independent!

They tell you it’ll get easier, and they tell you you won’t believe them but that it really will get easier, but I didn’t believe them and now it’s gotten so much easier.

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Book Reviews

The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin (Earthsea Cycle #2)
The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin (Earthsea Cycle #3)

Other Bookish Posts

Memorable Mondays: Being Your Own Weird Self – A quote from Felicia Day’s memoir You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) and my brief experience meeting her
Tuesday Talks: Unpopular Opinions – What is the most controversial opinion you have expressed about a book?
Teaser Tuesday: Dancing Smoke – A Gandalf quote from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Thursday Quotables: When Baking Gets You Summoned to Court – An amusing quote from Shakespeare’s Wife by Germaine Greer
Harry Potter Moment of the Week: Books for Dumbledore’s TBR – Which books would you recommend to Dumbledore?

Around the Blogosphere

“Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in Iceland” by Ola of Ola Reads Books – Check out this interesting list of books set in Iceland and find some new reads for your TBR!

Book Haul

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Just when I was about to preorder my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the husband told me in no uncertain terms, “Money’s going to be tight for a little while. That means no more books!” I bit my lip and could feel my face fall with disappointment.

What’s a girl to do? I grew up on the Harry Potter books, but now I’m grown up (mostly). So I chose to be a good wife and a responsible, money-conscious adult, and wait.

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I could only resist for so long, though. Ironically, once it was in my hands, I decided I want to reread the entire series again (for the umpteenth time) before getting to it, so I really could have waited!

Reading The Farthest Shore (review here) really got me in the mood to read some dragon stories, so I reread The Hobbit and ordered Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons. I need to read a book with the word “sheep” or “ewe” in the title for my absolute favorite book challenge, A Novel Roleplaying Game, so it seemed like a great opportunity to finally get around to reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick, the sci-fi novel which inspired Blade Runner. (As an aside, the Novel RPG is so much fun! If you like reading challenges and especially if you like RPGs, do check it out!)

What I’m Reading

111782I’m continuing to make my way through Shakespeare’s Wife by Germaine Greer, slowly but surely, but devoted most of the week to The Hobbit. I had a great time rereading it, since the only time I had ever read it before was as school reading in the seventh grade. I had so many misunderstood words that I missed all the humor of the book, and while the fantastic aspects of it were interesting, it had felt more like the miserable misadventures of a rude little man than a fun, enjoyable tale. I had a grand old time reading it as an adult, though, and I now have an entirely different perspective on The Hobbit!

480625I’m nearly finished with Pride and Prejudice. Reading Sense and Sensibility taught me that reading the classics doesn’t have to be a chore — I never thought I would laugh out loud while reading a classic until encountering Jane Austen’s amazing sense of humor.

Oliver and I finished The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. Maybe it’s just the postpartum hormones, but I cried! I knew it was a melancholic story but I don’t remember it being that sad when I was a kid! We also read The Magic Bunny by Paddy Comyn and Barry Sheehan. It’s an accompanying board book to the adorable Jellycat bunny, his first stuffed animal, but unfortunately it was a disappointment. Reviews to follow.

What I’m Watching

Have you been your mythical best today?

Good Mythical Morning, a wonderful bit of Internetainment hosted by lifelong friends Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal every weekday morning, is definitely a part of our daily routine. It is a hilarious weekday morning talk show in which Rhett and Link do some of the craziest, goofiest things I have ever seen in my life, like (incredibly awkward) dancing competitions with equally goofy folks like Redfoo and Lindsey Stirling, taste-tests of things that aren’t actually foods and probably never should be, and designing new and unique fashions. Mick and I have watched nearly every episode since season four (GMM is now in its tenth season), but this week I had a little renewed affection for the show and did some binge-watching.

In addition to being great talk show hosts, hilariously awkward commercial directors of products that both black and white people can miraculously enjoy, and brave eaters, Rhett and Link are also very talented musicians who make funny songs and music videos over at their main channel, Rhett and Link. If you have never experienced Rhett and Link, check out this Epic Nerd vs. Geek Rap Battle, for all my fellow nerds and geeks out there.

New Additions to the TBR Shelf

I told myself last week that I wouldn’t add any more books to my TBR list for a few months, because it is so insanely long already. Oops!

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Evensong by Krista Walsh

Author Jeff Powell wakes up to find the impossible has happened. He is within his own novel — summoned into the fictional world of Feldall’s Keep by a spell he didn’t write. One the House enchantress hasn’t figured out how to reverse.

When the villain he’s been struggling to write reveals himself, unleashing waves of terror and chaos, Jeff must use more than his imagination to save the characters he created — and the woman he loves.

Trapped within a world of his own creation, he must step outside the bounds of his narrative to help his characters defeat an evil no one anticipated, even if he must sacrifice his greatest gift. In the end, he has to ask: are novels really fiction, or windows into other worlds?

“The woman he loves” has to be one of my least favorite phrases, but awkward allusions to romance aside, I’m really curious about this one! My husband Mick just finished reading it and recommended it to me, since as a fantasy writer I take a lot of pleasure in universe-building and setting characters on the chess board of my imagination and seeing what moves that universe leads them to. Mick loved the concept of the story but felt that Walsh fell short in making it believable in several lazy ways — for instance, the book characters use modern expletives profusely, which he found jarring and which broke the immersiveness of the reading experience for him. I’m willing to experience questionable writing for such an interesting premise, though! I love books within books.

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Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings (The Belgariad #1)

Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion and drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe.

But that was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the dark man without a shadow had haunted him for years.

Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved — but did not know?

For a while his dreams of innocence were safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while…

So many classic fantasy novels and series I haven’t yet read! I’m not sure why this wasn’t on my TBR before, but I have heard such great things from so many people that I know I’ll love it. I’ll probably finish the Wheel of Time before committing myself to a ten-book series, though.

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Assuming Names by Tanya Thompson (Criminal Mischief #1)

When it was over, there were a lot of questions.

The detectives were embarrassed but they still wanted answered, “How did a 15-year-old runaway successfully pose as a world traveled countess?”

The newspapers turned it back on them, practically sneering, “How did she do it while under investigation by the FBI, DEA, and Interpol?”

The Mafia had been demanding the same thing for six months, “What is your real name?”

And the psychologists asked the question they always ask, “Why?”

It’s the why of it that will keep a girl in trouble.

Assuming Names is the true story of a young con artist. It’s the tale of a runaway that assumed the title of Countess and then went on to fool the FBI, DEA, and Interpol — as well as a number of other celebrities and institutions — with an elaborate tale of world intrigue.

You know when you’re browsing Amazon and you start clicking on the products that “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” until things start to get weird? Maybe that’s just me, but that’s how I came across Assuming Names, an autobiographical account of a long con played by a 15-year-old girl. I’m always fascinated by stories about con artists, both factual and fictional, so I’m curious about this one! I’ll probably read it poolside on vacation at my favorite resort in Palm Desert in September, which is the only time I ever read thrillers.

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The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is — a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.

Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friend—an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she’s experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor’s secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably — but only because it’s over.

Amy Schumer’s irreverent and unabashedly self-abasing humor always cracks me up. I’m really excited to find out how funny she must be in print, too! The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo was just released this week.

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667 Ways to F*ck Up My Life by Lucy Woodhull

If you love Broad City and Bridget Jones, you’ll adore Dagmar Kostopoulos… and her colossal fuck-ups.

Twenty-something Dag has always been the ‘perfect’ woman. Responsible, honest to a fault, hard-working. Even her bras are no-nonsense. And for what? Her boyfriend dumps her for being boring, and her boss fires her for not sucking on his nether regions to get promoted. What’s a perfectionist overachiever to do? A complete one-eighty.

To heck with rules — Dag orchestrates a spectacular fall from grace by ruining her life exactly six-hundred-sixty-six times, and finally has a little naughty fun. Some scandalous Spandex and a few bar lies later, tame little Dagmar becomes Giselle, ballsy siren.

The wild thing is… it works! Dag gets a better job and meets the sexiest man she’s ever known. Well, Giselle meets him. Dagmar doesn’t exist. Except that she does, and her escapades just became a ticking time bomb, one that might blow her heart to smithereens.

Join Dag for her irresistible and hilarious fuck-ups, because every good girl needs to inject a little bad girl sizzle into her veins.

I almost never read romance, and what little romance I do read is pretty Bridget Jones-esque, and 667 Ways seems like that sort of hilarious and light romance novel that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I came across it via Ola’s three-star review at her blog, Ola Reads Books. It sounds pretty funny despite its faults, so I think I’ll enjoy it as a little break from the usual sort of dense history or fantasy book I typically read. 667 Ways is another new release this week.

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The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le Carré
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré

Somehow I’ve never read an espionage novel — I’m not big on mysteries or thrillers, so I suppose it makes sense that I would have overlooked the genre. However, I loved the film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (and not just because it starred Gary Oldman… mostly), so I think I will enjoy le Carré’s books, which focus on characters who must use their wits to draw out and bring down the enemy.

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Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton

The year is A.D. 922. A refined Arab courtier, representative of the powerful Caliph of Baghdad, encounters a party of Viking warriors who are journeying to the barbaric North. He is appalled by their Viking customs — the wanton sexuality of their pale, angular women, their disregard for cleanliness, their cold-blooded human sacrifices. But it is not until they reach the depths of the Northland that the courtier learns the horrifying and inescapable truth: He has been enlisted by these savage, inscrutable warriors to help combat a terror that plagues them — a monstrosity that emerges under cover of night to slaughter the Vikings and devour their flesh . . .

I’ve never read Jurassic Park or anything else by Michael Crichton, and I’m usually not one for thrillers, but I love historical fiction and retellings, and this retelling of Beowulf, written by Crichton on a bet that he couldn’t make Beowulf interesting, definitely piqued my interest!

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Beautiful Wreck by Larissa Brown

In a bleak future built on virtual reality, Ginn is a romantic who yearns for something real. She designs environments for people who play at being Vikings. But when her project goes awry, she’s stranded in the actual 10th century, on a storybook farm in Viking Iceland.

Heirik is the young leader of his family, honored by the men and women who live on his land. But he is feared and isolated because of a terrible curse. Ginn and Heirik are two people who never thought they would find a home in someone else’s heart.

When forces rise against them to keep them apart, Ginn is called on to decide — will she give up the brutal and beautiful reality of the past? Or will she have the courage to traverse time and become more of a Viking than she ever imagined?

I discovered Beautiful Wreck via Ola’s list of her top ten picks of books set in Iceland over at her blog, Ola Reads BooksIt sounds crazy, but I’ve never read a book involving time travel; it’s just never appealed to me as a plot mechanic. This is the first book that has actually broken through my distaste of the concept; the idea of a modern (or, well, futuristic) woman meeting a Viking is just such an interesting idea! I hope it lives up to my expectations!

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Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

In her first work of nonfiction, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls — the first and second time — and shares stories about life, love, and working in Hollywood. This collection of essays is written in the intimate, hilarious, and down-to earth voice that made her novel, Someday Someday Maybe, a New York Times bestseller.

I was a huge Gilmore Girls fan growing up, so I can’t help but be excited about Lauren Graham’s memoir, which will be released in November. Sometimes you just need some yah-yah feel-goodery!

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Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates — Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material — and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.

Meanwhile, she dreams of doing “important” work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It’s hard to tell if she’ll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won’t call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.

Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job.

I actually didn’t know that Lauren Graham was a novelist until reading the description of Talking As Fast As I Can. More yah-yah chick lit feel-goodery!

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Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear (Eternal Sky #1)

Temur, grandson of the Great Khan, is walking away from a battlefield where he was left for dead. All around lie the fallen armies of his cousin and his brother, who made war to rule the Khaganate. Temur is now the legitimate heir by blood to his grandfather’s throne, but he is not the strongest. Going into exile is the only way to survive his ruthless cousin.

Once-Princess Samarkar is climbing the thousand steps of the Citadel of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. She was heir to the Rasan Empire until her father got a son on a new wife. Then she was sent to be the wife of a Prince in Song, but that marriage ended in battle and blood. Now she has renounced her worldly power to seek the magical power of the wizards. These two will come together to stand against the hidden cult that has so carefully brought all the empires of the Celadon Highway to strife and civil war through guile and deceit and sorcerous power.

I’m obsessed with the Netflix original series Marco Polo, so any historical fiction or fantasy set in historical Mongolia is up my alley right now. I think this will be a fun read!

Coming Up Next

With the release of the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Legion, happening on the 30th, I’m probably going to be a shut-in for the next few weeks while I explore and play all the new content. I just found out that Blizzard has given early access to the Demon Hunter class for players who have preordered the xpac, so… otaku mode, activate!

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The next books I’ll be reading are The Satanic Verses by Salman RushdieDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. DickA Natural History of Dragons (Memoirs of Lady Trent #1) by Marie Brennan, The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time #2) by Robert Jordan, and Labyrinth by Kate Moss, so you can expect updates and reviews on all these in the coming weeks!

How was your week? What book spoils did you get? Let me know in the comments, and leave a link to your weekly recap! ♥

This post has been linked up at Sunday PostStacking the ShelvesIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, and Mailbox Monday. Check out these great weekly features and find some wonderful new reads for your TBR and blogs for your blogroll in the process!

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19 thoughts on “The Sunday Post // 21 August 2016

  1. Oliver is so cute! 😍
    Thank you so much for mentioning me in you post. I’m so happy to see that helped you grow your TBR list 🙂 You’ll definitely enjoy reading the 667 Ways. And I just finished Amy Schumer’s book yesterday, it’s fantastic. She shows a completely different side of her. Her memoir is nothing like her performances, well, she’s still funny and smart, but some stories are very serious and emotional. I was listening to audiobook, highly recommend, I loved listening to Amy reading to me her book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I think so, too. 😉 He’s got a killer smile, too!

      Of course! Thank you for introducing me to some books I’m sure I wouldn’t have added otherwise. 🙂

      Good to know about Amy Schumer’s book! I’m sure it makes a great audiobook! I love the way she delivers her jokes, so I’m sure it would be great to hear her deliver her memoir!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s amazing how quickly they develop and those milestones are so cool to see. Sounds like a fabulous week! I should re- read The Hobbit, I also haven’t read it in ages. I hope you like Pawn of Prophecy- I liked that one but when I tried to re- read it recently it fell kinda flat for me. And Eaters of the Dead I haven’t read, but I did see the movie version and it actually wasn’t too bad.

    I love those videos Lindsey Stirling did where she dressed up as Link and other characters- so fun!

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    • It was a great week! And yes, it’s wild how quickly they change!! My 8-year-old already seems like a different person than she was at the start of the summer.

      I’m hoping I like them, too! Have you read other books by David Eddings?

      I agree, I love that she’s so goofy! She’s a great cosplayer.

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      • So true. I read the whole Belgariad (I think) twice when I was younger, and loved em at the time as I recall. That was around junior high probably more or less. My try at a re- read didn’t go so well, but I still like some of those characters (Silk is awesome). And it’s an interesting world. I haven’t read his other stuff though. It would be fun to read them for the first time I would think. 🙂

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    • Haha, thanks! It was just a brief pass while she signed my book but it was such a blast! She’s just as friendly and silly as you’d imagine her to be in person.

      Yes, I’m definitely having a blast with each new change he’s going through. 🙂

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  3. Sounds like you had a great week this week! I’ve always adored (most of) the classics, and it makes me happy when other people discover them. 🙂 I have also been re-reading books I read as a child lately, and I am absolutely loving it!

    My It’s Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mother was always trying to get me to read the classics as a kid, but it really took Jane Austen to make me feel like they weren’t this large, daunting category of irrelevant books. Phew! Glad I got over that. I’ve really been enjoying them a whole lot more since.

      Nice about rereading your childhood books! It’s a blast, isn’t it? Reading to my little one has been a great excuse to do that. We just cracked open Winnie the Pooh a few days ago so that has been a real nostalgic treat for me. 😉

      And yes, it was a great week! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

      Like

    • Good to know! 🙂 They’re some of my mom’s favorites, too. She’s been nudging me to read and watch them for years and I’m excited to finally be getting around to it!

      Like

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