Sunday, September 29, 2013

bookish birthday presents

Voracious readers almost always get books or reading-related items as gifts. The most recent birthday for this reader was no different.

I received books - 
The Complete Works of Shakespeare
This one hasn't arrived yet, Russell bought it "new and used" from Amazon so we'll see if it's actually the wished-for David Bevington-edited edition when it arrives.
Fundraising the Dead by Sheila Connolly
A cozy mystery (and the first in a new series) set in a museum cum research library. The only problem: per the back-cover text the archivist turns up dead.
The Novel Cure by Susan Elderkin and Ella Berthoud
The subtitle (From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You) of this very recent release says it all. This book went straight to the top of my wishlist as soon as I heard about it.
Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez
A reference book that includes reviews of 1200+ fragrances.
Sock Yarn Studio by Carol Sulcoski
Full of diverse non-sock patterns that call for the most collectable of all yarn: sock yarn.
And two blank books (pictured below)
The design of the one on the right is a close-up of hand-knit fabric.

I also received some items that were inspired by books -
Once by Nightwish CD
Because it has a song entitled "Nemo" (presumably inspired by the character from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) that popped up on one of Russell's Pandora stations and that I appreciated at the time.
Parade game, designed by Naoki Homma
An Alice in Wonderland-themed card game with fantastic new art work.
The Swarm game, designed by Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer
A board game based on the novel by Frank Sch├Ątzing, which I haven't (yet) read.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

a stressful summer and getting back into blogging

This year has been a challenging one for a number of reasons. I started January with a restructuring at work and every time things seem to be settling down a new stressor gets thrown my way. Also, summer is my least favorite season as I melt in the face of heat plus high humidity. With everything that's been going on the past two months I haven't been really been tracking what I've read, hence the lack of an August recap post and no regular updates to the "currently reading" and "books read in 2013" sidebar lists. I have been reading though and I will attempt to get my "books read in 2013" list updated to the best of my ability.

In the meantime, here's a little report on my current reading -
I'm listening to the audio version of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (public library), which was recommended to me by my friend Nancy, and I adore it. I crave it when I'm not listening to it even though I'm worried that something bad may be in store for one of the main characters.

On my Nook I'm reading Escaping Reality: The Secret Life of Amy Bensen by Lisa Renee Jones (Netgalley), a romantic suspense novel.

I also have Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson (borrowed from a friend) and One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling by Hanan al-Shaykh (public library) in progress (though One Thousand and One Nights is going to have to go back to the library this weekend as I've just realized that it's overdue and I've reached my renew limit for it). Both of these are best in small installments so they fall into the actively-but-slowly-reading category.
Some of you may remember that my birthday is at the end of September. Russell has a particularly virulent case of the flu so celebrations have been quite subdued. I will have a bookish birthday gifts post up either at some point this weekend.