Book update (not just Hugo reads!)

Somehow, despite not feeling like I’d read a vast amount over the weekend, I finished the March issue of Asimov’s and got halfway through Agatha H and the Airship City. I’ve still got a couple of Asimov’s issues on my Kindle to read, but I got myself started on one of my pre-Hugo reads instead.

Pro tip: never check the page length of a just-started novel.

The third George R. R. Martin book is 973 pages long. I’m trying to persuade myself that this isn’t as close to a thousand pages as it sounds. I’m also trying to remind myself that this won’t be the first time I’ve read novels this long – I have read most of David Eddings’ books after all, even his sub-par ones, and some of those were equally long.

The good thing is that A Storm of Swords gets right into the action so I consumed the first thirty pages very quickly.

I’m trying to get Mount TBR (the stack of unread dead tree fiction books) down to under 130 by the time I go to England. Hence the Agatha H. It’s turning out to be a fun romp, not exactly taxing but not too fluffy either. Unfortunately Mount TBR is not helped by my book buying habits. Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder arrived last week because I needed to add something to an Amazon order to get free shipping.

Why do I always do that when the $12 book is definitely not cheaper than the $2 shipping for a DVD? πŸ™‚

Anyway, when Agatha is finished I think that I’ll need to read several quick children’s books in order to get Mount TBR under 130 before May 18th. This is primarily so that I don’t feel so guilty when twenty books follow me home from England…

Must go to the library this week. My hold on The Unwritten: Volume 4 has come in, which will by my first Hugo graphic novel read.

I’ve watched my first Hugo nominated film, so that review will be coming up tomorrow. Or the day after, maybe.

Time to catch up…again. Starting with Hugo Awards!

You know those times when you have lots of things to post about and say, but the motivation to actually log in and write them down evades you? Yup, that’s me.

The big important piece of news is that the Hugo Award nominations were announced a couple of weeks ago:

2012 Hugo Award nominees

As I’m a voting member of Chicon 7, I’m going to be voting in the awards and I’ve vowed to myself that I’m going to (at the least) have read all nominated fiction works and watched all the dramatic presentation works. I’d like to think that I’ll get through the related works category too, but that looks unlikely.

I’m also planning to listen to at least one or two episodes out of all the fancast nominees.

I’ve made my task rather large because several of the novels are parts of series and I feel that I need to have read the preceding works in order to fully appreciate the nominated works. Thankfully I’ve read two George R.R. Martin books, but that does mean that I’ve got another two to read before I reachA Dance with Dragons. When you add in the Mira Grant, that means that I’ve got three longish novels in my Hugo pre-reading before I can even start on the nominated works!

I’m excited about it, though. I’ve read a Seanan McGuire book and loved it, so I’m excited about reading her books as Mira Grant even though I’ve always avoided zombie novels in the past. It feels like I’m going to be expanding my horizons πŸ™‚

I’ve read one or more of the works in the novella, novelette and short story categories already thanks to my Asimov’s subscription so that makes it slightly less intimidating. Really, it does. Yup.

Helpfully I’ve watched pretty much all the short form dramas already and of the long form, only one thing (Source Code) wasn’t previously on my list of “things that I want to watch this year” so it shouldn’t be too bad. And I watched the Harry Potter at the cinema, which reduced the list slightly even though Game of Thrones is 13 hours of viewing.

I’ll be chucking a bunch of the books onto my Kindle for my trip next month and I’m considering buying GoT from iTunes rather than on DVD so that I can throw some of the episodes onto my iPad for the airplane and the car trips.

My deadline for voting is July 31st. I can do it. I’m determined. It’s only eight novels, six novellas, five novelettes, five short stories, four films and a 13 hour mini-series after all. Eep?

If I can do it without hinting at which way I’m voting, I shall document my Hugo watching/pre-reading/reading here under the “hugos” tab. So excited about this!

Weekend plans

Busy weekend coming up! Most importantly, it’s the final weekend of the Six Nations (rugby, my major sporting love next to cycling) and all three matches promise to be great because there are things to fight for in each one.

Then there is the kitchen stuff. I need to start re-stocking the freezer so I’ll be trying out a new recipe for slow-cooker chicken tikka masala. Not being a big chicken fan, I’m always looking for interesting ways to prepare and serve it and this also means that there will be minimal time needed in the kitchen in order to create supper.Β  Very important when there is much rugby to be watched. Win-win type thing!

Then there needs to be a pot of soup made for next week’s lunches. Another nice easy thing to do because apart from around twenty minutes of veg prep, soup is mainly about simmering, occasionally stirring, and adding ingredients at appropriate moments. It’s something that can happen in the background of other things, like having a nice cup of tea and a sit down.

I’m not even going to think about making any kind of muffin or bread: I’ll be getting a nice loaf of something from the rather nice bakery this evening. And I have rhubarb muffins in the freezer so no need to bake any breakfast treats.

If I’ve got the energy, time and inclination then I may bake some cupcakes. If I haven’t, I’ve got three types of cookie dough in the freezer (what? you don’t do that too?) so I can just chuck some balls of dough on a tray and shove it in the oven. I love instant cookies πŸ˜€

I’d mutter something about finishing The Hunger Games, but I mainlined the entire thing in two evenings this week…

So my big dilemma is do I go for the next in that trilogy or go back to Mr. Martin?

I’ve also got a couple of films in mind from Netflix if I want something tonight or Sunday night (I’m trying to watch all the recent Marvel films in preparation for The Avengers) and Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time promises to be brilliant.

So, if nothing goes wrong, my weekend is looking to be fantastic πŸ˜€

The also overdue non-book post

It’s been an odd couple of months. Winter here has been very mild so the odd storms that we’ve had have thrown the city into chaos and irritated me greatly. I’m definitely ready for spring now! Just got tonight’s storm to get through…

When I’ve not been reading, I’ve spent some quality time with my telly box and the iPad. Thanks to Netflix, I’m now part way through season 4 in my Buffy re-watch and I’ve added in alternating Buffy with Angel so that the cross-overs match up. It’s been so much fun and I’m remembering all over again why I think this is one of the best shows out there.

To contrast with this, there has been the Deep Space 9 re-watch. It’s a lot harder going than I expected because so many of the early episodes are absolutely terrible. I must have had much more tolerance or maybe different expectations when I was younger. Thankfully I’m getting towards the end of season 2 and the bad:good ratio is improving. I just watched two good ones in a row (Profit and Loss and Bloodoath) and in a few episodes time, the Dominion enters the picture fully and as I recall this is when the writing really picked up. Phew! I think that I deserve an award for getting through those early episodes.

I also had a bit of a baking frenzy this for a while, mostly inspired by all the yummy cake consumed on Call the Midwife (and excellent BBC period adaptation of the novels) and watching Sport Relief Great British Bake Off. I’ve been a little more restrained in the last few weeks so I’m itching to try something new. I’ve got a rather delicious apple tart recipe in my sights for tomorrow and I’m also going to be playing around with my favourite tuna lasagne recipe πŸ™‚

Must remember to blog these next week if they turn out well. So, my life seems to be books, TV and baking/cooking lately. The knitting has been entirely derailed by cuddly cats and exhaustion. Oops. Must do better.

Doctor Who 5.13: The Big Bang

I am slightly calmer about it now. But still ridiculously happy about this episode πŸ™‚ There was an insane amount of squeeing last night, because this episode was so much better than I could ever have hoped for.

There are definitely going to be spoilers ahead.


Doctor Who 5.10, 5.11, 5.12

So, the last few weeks of kitchen renovations and relatives who like to die at the worst times possible (he’s been laughing at us all week, I swear) appears to have made me incapable of writing Doctor Who reviews. How terrible is that? Thus, before I can post my full review of the finale, I need to do a bit of a catch up:

5.10 The Doctor and Vincent


Doctor Who 5.09: Cold Blood

I think that I’m recovered enough to discuss this week’s episode sensibly. Maybe.


Dented cars and brilliantly funny Wil Wheaton fan art (no, really, it’s awesome)

So, today has started off kind of sucky and I’m hoping that this is a sign that things will get better rather than an early predictor for the rest of the week.

My car, which was only repaired a couple of months ago from a mystery ding that may be related to the neighbourhood kids play street hockey, has been dinged. Again. On the same panel. There is some cosmic hate on for that door, I think.

The good thing is that the girl who dinged it tracked me down (it was at work and she’s the girl who keeps the lists for the carpark passes, phew!) so that we could do the insurance thing and work out what to do. I’m taking it to the place that repaired the last ding (well, at least they know my car…) to get an estimate tonight, to see whether it’s going to be cheaper in the long-run for her to pay out of pocket than run it through the insurers. The bit that I’d really like to avoid is having my premium hiked by someone else’s actions, so we’ll see how this goes. I’m hoping that it won’t cost much and I won’t need to rent a car while it’s done because that always pushes up the costs.

It’s going to be another crazy busy week so this isn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing. This is the only evening when I have enough of a window to actually get the estimate sorted out – the next time that I’m not going straight from work to another event is Friday.

Wow, just typing that makes me tired.

My menu plan for the week looks rather silly, what with most of the week being marked as ‘eating out’ and all.

I’ve been a little bit surprised by the fire storm on my self image post. The main reason I wrote it is to explain why, despite everyone’s reassurances, the person that I see myself as doesn’t match what everyone else is telling me. It will probably never match and I’m sort of OK with that. Or if not OK, then I mostly don’t think about it until I need to dress up pretty and discover that I have no pretty to dress up in. The thing that is reassuring is that there are other people who know exactly what I’m talking about and why I talked about it. Also, it’s reassuring that there are other people who have gone out there and taken steps to learn how to dress nicely and how to do the ‘girly’ things that I’m clueless about. Much advice there for me to read, digest, and hopefully make use of. Thank you πŸ˜€

In slightly more fun news, everyone needs to go and see this post on Scalzi’s Whatever: Brilliant Wil Wheaton-John Scalzi fan art with competition!

That picture is just too brilliant for words. Seriously.

Is it bad that I’m trying to come up with some ideas for the competition? And may have a first sentence?

Doctor Who 5.08: The Hungry Earth

I feel that it is worth pointing out there are going to be some non-Doctor Who posts as well today. Not necessarily anything that non-DW fans will find interesting, but I am actually posting non-DW stuff.

Er, it’s possible that I’ve been writing things this week and not posting them. Bad me.

Also, it’s possible that I was so enjoying the Victoria Day weekend and thus forgot to post about Doctor Who entirely, which is just wrong. And thus…


Doctor Who 5.06: Vampires of Venice

What a fun episode!

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