Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday in the Garden | And the TBR Groans


The rains have finally stopped and it's been a beautiful week to be outside.  I've taken advantage of this by chilling on my patio at dusk most nights, soaking in the ambience. It's my favorite time of of the day in the summer despite the onslaught of mosquitos.  Anyway, the soundtrack of my backyard in the evening consists mainly of Common Nighthawks and Chimney Swifts.

Common Nighthawks are cool medium sized birds with a very distinctive and camouflaged look to them.  And if you've ever walked around a city or town at dusk, you've likely heard their call and not realized what it is.  They are a bird of open areas that nest on the ground and don't even build nests and they've adapted to nesting on the flat gravel rooftops of cities and towns.  I'm pretty sure there is at least one pair that nests nearby but haven't tracked down where.  Usually I just sit and stare into the sky at their silhouette and enjoy their flyovers.

Swooping around lower in the sky than the Nighthawk are dozens of small, chittering swifts.  My favorite description of these birds in silhouette is "cigar with wings".  Chimney swifts nest gregariously in colonies in vertical hollows, often chimneys, which earns them a bad rap (and their name).  I don't know where the ones that fly over my yard are roosting (I don't have a chimney) but I'm glad they have found a home nearby.

Chimney Swift Chittering

Both of these species and their vocalizations have come to represent Summer nights to me.  What sounds and sights do you associate with this time of year when dusk comes later and nights are short?



I've been watching the BBC mystery show Father Brown featuring Mark Williams (aka Arthur Weasley) as the titular character.  It's one of those delightful, small town, amateur sleuth British mysteries that I can't get enough of and which the BBC does so well.  They are based on a series of books by G,K, Chesterton.  The show is somewhat newly available on Netflix Streaming.


Finished Since the Last Time I Posted:

Both of these books were good listens and really hilarious.  Highlight of the week goes to Shrill. I was not really familiar with Lindy West but I'm glad I am now better acquainted!  Her collection of essays/memoir is hilarious but also tackles some serious issues with which she has grappled, mostly under public scrutiny. 
  • First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones: I can't remember where I first heard of this book/series but it's been on my TBR for ages.  It's a hoot and pretty entertaining but it is not threatening to be one of my faves of all time.
  • Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West: A memoir of a journalist, feminist and comedian.  
  • Strong Poison  (Lord Peter Wimsey #6) by Dorothy L. Sayers: Only a few more of these left :( but I hear Lord Peter gets a girlfriend in this one - Ooooohhhhh!
  • The Disorderly Knights (Lymond Chronicles #3) by Dorothy Dunnett:  I'm about halfway through this one and am finding on this go round that I don't like it as much as the first two, which is odd.  Lots can happen in half a book though!
  • The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud:  A mid-grade novel about ghost fighters in Britain.  
  • Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch:  Non-fiction about eating psychology and biology.  I've been dipping in and out of it for the last few months!

Added to the TBR:

This is a list of books that I have added to my Goodreads TBR list this week.  It helps to burn the books I want to read a little more firmly into my mind, maybe get them on some other folks TBRs and gives me a chance to recognize a lot of the awesome bloggers that add stuff to my TBR!

Last week I mentioned that because I hadn't been in the blog world for a couple months, I hadn't added any books to my TBR.  Well, get ready because here comes the flood!

  • The Lawrence Brown Affair by Cat Sebastian: I don't remember where I picked this one up but is a Regency Era queer romance featuring a "mad" scientist. All righty - I'm in!
  • Ghosts of Tomorrow by Michael R. Fletcher: I'm pretty sure I heard about this one from Mogsy at The Bibliosanctum and I've been meaning to read a Michael Fletcher book for ages.  This is a dystopian, cyberpunk books which sounds really interesting.  There's a wild west dressed 4 armed cyborg-looking fellow on the cover. 👍 I actually just noted that it is on sale for $1.99 - excuse me while I go snap that up.... Done!
  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer: Despite my disappointment with her last book (Heartless - full disclosure - I have not finished it)  I still have hopes and loves for Marissa Meyer.
  • The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo:  Short stories set in the Grisha Universe. DEFINITELY reading this bad girl.
  • Wilders (Project Earth #1) by Brenda Cooper:  I first saw this at Greg's Book Haven but have then seen it a couple of other places as well.  It's an interesting sounding dystopia about a girl and her robot companion.
  • No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear:  This is a fictional re-telling of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood told from the perspective of the murdered family's friends in the aftermath of that brutal killing.  Discovered it on He Said Books or Me.
  • That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston:  Heard about this gem from Danya at Fine Print! From Goodreads: "Set in a near-future world where the British Empire never fell and the United States never rose, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a novel of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world."
  • Borrowed Souls (Soul Charmer #1) by Chelsea Mueller:  Another rec from Danya that I featured on my TTT list this week. 
  • The Refrigerator Monologues by Cathrynne M. Valente:  Telling the story of the women who are "fridged" (killed with the sole purpose of exploring how it affects the male lead) in superhero stories. From Mogsy at The Bibliosanctum.
  • River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey:  Killer Hippos. Greg's Book Haven. Also Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn.
The next several books are from an awesome list of diverse books A Dance With Books put together for her TTT. 
  • The Tiger's Watch by Julia Ember: This original sounding narrative includes soldiers which have bonded animal companions and a protagonist who is gender fluid.
  • The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee: From Goodreads - "The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo's every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged."
  • The Belles (Belles #1) by Dhonielle Clayton: From Goodreads - "In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful."
  • The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan:  Looks like a high fantasy epic with a unique setting AND...
  • The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan: This author also writes a mystery series that sounds very cool. 
Did you know Leigh Bardugo wrote a Wonder Woman novel? Now I do too!
The next two are from the Fangirl Happy Hour Podcast:
  • White Tears by Hari Kunzru: This sounds like a terrifying literary horror novel. Not my usual fair but Renay and Gin Jenny sold it hard.
  • 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric Cline: Non-fiction book about a mysterious group of people who conquered the world in far antiquity.
The next four are from the The Washington Post's Summer Book List (great list by the way -lots of non-fiction):
The next two from Lark at A Bookwyrm's Hoard
And the final one from Silver Petticoat Review
  • The Vinegar Girl  by Anne Tyler:  A modern re-telling of Taming of the Shrew (by ole Bill Shakespeare). 

On the BLOG since I last Posted:

TUESDAY: TOP TEN TUESDAY | Recent Fantasy Novel Additions to my TBR
WEDNESDAY: REVIEW |Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman. Mixed feelings. Really liked Eon, struggled with Eona.
FRIDAY: REVIEW | Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Charming and Delightful.

Your life is not complete until you share it with an imperious, disdainful rabbit

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