Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Reading Cram Read-a-thon Day 2 and Top Ten Tuesday

12:15PM: I spent most of yesterday evening reading Perdido Street Station, and reached the end of part two. I went to bed quite early, as I could barely keep my eyes open, but managed to get in a couple more chapters of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire before falling asleep. Hagrid's secret past has been splashed all over the Daily Prophet, in a subplot that I don't think was touched on much during the films. I can't help feeling that Rita Skeeter must be based upon J. K. Rowling's own experiences with evil journalists (and if she were a muggle, Miss Skeeter would be the Daily Mail's darling. What a nasty piece of work.)

I made the most of my day off this morning by not setting my alarm clock and sleeping in late. I read another chapter of Perdido Street Station over breakfast, though since then I've really just been pottering around, dancing round my room to my Dreamboats and Petticoats CD and getting sucked into the internet. Time to put that computer away, Edwards! Get reading!

3:30PM: Oops.

Everyone seems to be talking about NOS4R2 among my bloggy friends. I've had my eye on it since it was first released, but was going to wait for the small paperback to be published. But with all the internet chatter about this book, and the fact that it is apparently a Christmassy horror story, I couldn't wait another year, and as I just needed to spend another £10 at Waterstone's before I got a free gift card, I decided to treat myself to an early Christmas present.

Perdido Street Station: The story so far:

Isaac's study of assorted birds, bugs and other winged creatures has brought him into contact with a brightly-coloured creature which has a strange effect, seemingly with powerful psychic or empathic abilities. This creature has been stolen from a research facility, where its siblings have been treated with caution, even fear. This cannot end well. My suspicion is that it will incite all sorts of nastiness from the people of New Crobuzon.

10PM: After coming back from town, I intended to get stuck back into my book for the rest of the afternoon, but after updating the blog, I ended up sorting out all my photos from the last 15 months and deciding which ones need to be printed for albums. I still love having physical photo albums to look back over my memories. Then I remembered I still hadn't reviewed the film of Catching Fire, so I put that right (scheduled for tomorrow morning when I'm back at work.) I settled back into my book for an hour or so, where some very strange events came to pass. First, as far as I can make out, someone programmes a hoover to make it become sentient. You may call it a cleaning construct all you like, but as far as I'm concerned it's a hoover. Now, quite what the plot has planned for a sentient hoover, I am yet to find out. Also, the weird psychic, drug-addicted caterpillar-creature Isaac has been studying has hatched out of its cocoon as a man-sized killer moth, and has freed its fellow man-sized killer moths from the research facility to cause chaos across the city. Despite how silly this may sound, it's quite suspenseful stuff, and I'm keen and dreading to see what happens next.

This evening I took over the kitchen and baked some delicious Christmas goodies: sugar cookies, Christmas cupcakes and a batch of fruit and nut shortbread, which should be ready to come out of the oven any minute. I am not posting photos because although they taste delicious, they look nothing like the photos in the recipe books, alas. I started icing the cakes when they were still warm, and it turned out a bit messy, but I ate the worst of the evidence.

I'm off to bed in a minute, for an early night and to see if I can get to the end of part three of Perdido Street Station before meeting Judith for lunch tomorrow.

What I've read today: Perdido Street Station
Number of pages read today: 127
Running total: 332 pages
Number of mince pies consumed during the readathon: 3 1/2
My life outside books: I am a baking queen!

Top Ten Tuesday: The to-read pile

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish

Well, my to-read pile has more than ten books on it, but the following are likely to be read sooner rather than later.

1. Mindstar Rising - Peter Hamilton. This is a loan from a friend, who described it as "detective fiction set in the not-so-distant future." Aside from that I know very little about the book, but look forward to finding out.

2. From a Buick 8 - Stephen King. Because I haven't read any King for a while, and my brain is itching to read some more. This one was on the 3 for £5 offer at the Works, so I had to snap it up.

3. Interworld - Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves. A Neil Gaiman book I haven't read yet? Better put that right!

4. Shine Shine Shine - Lydia Netzer: A book I picked up on my last-but-one trip to London: "This is the story of an astronaut who is lost in space, and the wife he left behind."

5. Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: Robin Sloane: A book about books, bookshops, and bookshop customers. What's not to love?

6. Something Borrowed - Paul Magrs: The sequel to Never the Bride which I read on holiday this summer. If it's as good as the first, I'm in for a treat. This is a library book, and I've already renewed it once, so I ought to get to this one soon.

7. The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith: Yeah, we all know "Robert Galbraith's" real identity. Though I didn't buy it because it's by J.K. Rowling, the extra publicity made me actually look at this book and decide it looked good. I enjoy crime fiction, but don't read that much of it because when I'm in the crime section of a bookshop or library, I don't really know where to start without a particular author or title in mind.

But before I get started on The Cuckoo's Calling, I ought to finish my reread of the Harry Potter books. I don't like having more than one book or series on the go by the same author or in the same genre at any one time.

8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J. K. Rowling. Also Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows.

9: A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens. 
10: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis: These two are essential December rereads, for obvious reasons.


  1. Damn - both Hanna and Laura bought NOS4R2 when we were in Leeds and I've been wavering ever since! It just looks like the perfect book to read during December and I badly want it! I so very, very nearly bought it this lunchtime in fact! Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore is good - I read it earlier in the year and it's quirky and fun and has the best sounding bookshop in the entire world :)

    I have that exact same copy of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe! I used to adore it as a child and it's the first "proper" book that I remember really loving. I do really want to re-read the series, actually. I'm not much of a re-reader (which I know strikes most readers as odd!) but I have been craving a bit of Narnia lately :) I might become a hermit for the weekend and get a copy and regress for a little while!

    My read-a-thon progress is terrible so far and I haven't even made it through a page so far today! I have a meeting this evening too so I'm not expecting to get much more than the hour that I'll be travelling to and from the meeting :| The rest of my week looks a lot quieter though so maybe that'll be my time to shine! :)

    1. Glad to know Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is worth reading. I saw it and remembered reading about Hanna and Ellie fighting over it earlier in the year! :D

      This is my second copy of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - the old one got so worn out, but I found this one second hand and it had the right cover so I had to snap it up. It takes me right back to my childhood.

      I've been dithering this afternoon; got distracted sorting out my photos from the last year, deciding which ones need to be printed. I still like to have real photo albums to look back at good memories. And I have a review to write and cookies and cakes to bake. The beauty of longer readathons is that it's OK not to get much reading done on some days because there are plenty of chances to catch up.

  2. Ah, the Waterstones stamp card trap. I've fallen into that way more times than I care to count! I do have a ten stamped card in my purse that I'm looking forward to spending though :) Plus, you got N0S4R2 which makes me happy!

    I like to have physical photo albums too. I collect photos by year on my laptop, then at the end of the year I have a photobook made, so they're all on my shelf with the year on the spine. It's nice to have them to look through.

    Ah, I bought that Stephen King from The Works too. It's weird, some of his books really appeal and I fall completely in love with them... others I'm not bothered about in the slightest. I bought this because they had it or Cujo which falls firmly into the 'no thank you' category!

    1. Yes, you and Laura and I think Sarah all kept mentioning NOS4R2 until I had to give in. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into that. I've read his first book, "Heart-Shaped Box" which was pretty good, but NOS4R2 and Horns both look incredible.

      Oooh, photobooks! Maybe I'll get one of those made rather than putting them in an album one at a time. That'll have to wait till payday, though.

      I'm with you on Stephen King; I've read a few of his books, many are on my "one day" list and others I just have no desire to ever read. They didn't have Cujo in our The Works, but I agree, that is a "no thank you" book for me too.

  3. 1. BOOM. Evil Daily Mail joke... I like it. You're right, Rita Skeeter would definitely be a front-page gossip harridan for their *delightful* rag. *hisses furiously in their general direction*

    2. Okay now I really want Perdido Street Station. I've been wanting to try CM for ages! Also NOS4R2 (clearly the new 11/22/63 - where no one can quite remember how the title goes but THERE ARE DEFINITELY NUMBERS IN IT). So... yeah, go you.

    3. "First, as far as I can make out, someone programmes a hoover to make it become sentient. You may call it a cleaning construct all you like, but as far as I'm concerned it's a hoover. Now, quite what the plot has planned for a sentient hoover, I am yet to find out." - This just made me burst out laughing and scare a couple of American tourists. :)

    4. KILLER MOTHS! Awesome. I might have to buy this book for my mum for Hallowe'en, she hates moths with a passion! *evil laugh*

    5. MR PENUMBRA! Yes, we should all read this now that I actually have a copy. Also, the cover is so trippy, I love it. I'm awaiting the paperback of The Cuckoo's Calling - as soon as it hits shelves (or actually appears in the library without a 4-year waiting list) I AM SO THERE. Rereading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is SOMEWHERE on the horizon, and also A Christmas Carol if I can make a little niche of book-and-mince-pie-with-alcoholic-hot-chocolate time on Christmas Eve. YAY CHRISTMAS!

    Off to read your next installment of readathonny goodness!

    1. 1. *joins you in booing and hissing at The Rag That Shall Not Be Named.* It's the air of self-righteousness that accompanies the muck-raking and hate-mongering that marks that paper aside from all the other rags.

      2. Yay China Mieville! I've managed to get Judith reading his books too. Perdido Street Station's huge and a bit intimidating, but it's fantastic, as is The City and the City.

      3. I hope your American tourists bought something before they ran screaming into the hills. ;)

      4. They are more like dementor-moths, on closer inspection. Or Judi called them Medusa-moths. Whatever they are, they are loose in the city causing terror and mayhem.

      5. Mr Penumbra readalong in the new year?
      I got A Cuckoo's Calling on some kind of special offer, though I can't remember exactly what. It was certainly too good to pass up on, anyway. But it's just sitting there looking accusingly at me. But Potter first. I've started, so I must finish, and Christmas is the perfect time for that.


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