Monday, June 10, 2013

48HBC Finish Line

Well, that was just a bit of spectacular fail on my part.  Both reading-wise and dance-wise.  In other words, I did not get done all the reading I was hoping to this weekend.  And, to add insult to injury (hah!), Friday night I managed to do something to my big toe, either a fracture or break it, so by today I was in so much pain I had to forgo my solo dance en pointe and do it in regular ballet slippers.  So disappointing because I was all ::squee!:: I have a solo dance en pointe.  My friend Alex had to talk me down from doing it- though I told her the best bet would be to just hid my shoes.  Cause after doing my pointe class dance, I backed down, but by the end of the recital where my solo was, I was ready to try it again (as I did Saturday night- and did it quite well enough, I might add).  But, she wouldn't let me.  Still, it went rather well, all things considered.

I also cried because I fear this may be my last recital and it didn't end the way I wanted it to.  But, that sometimes happens in life.  I just had two quotes running through my head from Black Watch.  The first was "you try doing this with a broken arm", except for me it was "you try doing this with a broken toe".  The second was "this could be the last attack for the First Battalion, the Black Watch".  That was the thought that got me really crying.  Oh, emotions.  You do betray me sometimes.

But, books.  Right, we are here to talk about books!

I managed to read two and start a third today (and, well, some of it was from last night).

Highland Rebel by Sally Watson.

This was my holdout Sally Watson book.  And by that, I mean it is the only one of her original books from the 60s (she has since written a few more that are being self-published) that I hadn't read.  This one being her first published one actually.  And I've owned it for years.  Truth be told, I still have one L.M. Montgomery book I have yet to read (A Tangled Web).  I think I do it because I enjoy their books so much that it is rather dreadful to know that there will never be anything else new to read of theirs.  If that makes sense.  Especially my L.M. Montgomery one.  Cause, you know, she's dead.  Except there is the other voice in my head that tells me I could pop off at any moment and I would be leaving a book unread.  So, I guess it is good that I got to at least one of their books this read-a-thon, eh? 

I do so enjoy her books.  This one is about Lauren Keith Cameron (who is the mother of Lauchlin from The Hornet's Nest- yes her Scottish characters from various books are all related).  She prefers sword fighting to more lady-like adventures, and, of course, this gets her into trouble.  Both within her family, but also with the English.  For the book is set during the time of Bonnie Prince Charles's attempt to take the crown from King George.  And Laurie will learn through great trials and hardship just how strong a character she has.

Pages: 212

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger.

Having read Gail Carriger's "Parasol Protectorate" series, I was quite interested in reading the first book in her new YA series.  And, it was a fun romp through a different type of boarding school in Steampunk England, especially as it is set in the same universe as her other series.  I just realized that I read two books with very hoydenish main characters who enjoy doing more boyish activities than sitting around being proper girls.  If only there had been a new Cat Royal book, I would have been set for life!

Sophronia has been selected to attend a prestigious girls' finishing school (on her part quite unwilling to go)- but what she and her parents don't realize is that this is no ordinary school.  This school is training young women in the art of espionage.  On the way to the school, their carriage is waylaid by flywaymen who are looking for the "Prototype".  Which, of course, they don't get ahold of, because where would the rest of the story be?  Along the way, our Sophronia makes new friends with a variety of characters, learns that being a girl isn't all that bad, and quite possibly saves the day.  Well, her and her trusted mechanimal, Bumbersnoot.

Pages: 307

Echoes of Love by Rosie Rushton.

This is a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion that a friend of mine who is a bit obsessed with JA retellings sent me (I really think she owns the vast majority of them).  I can't quite tell you what I feel about it, because I've only gotten a few chapters in.  Actually, the author wrote retellings of all of JA's novels.  But, I've been in a Persuasion type mood lately.  Which is why I went for this one.

Pages (so far): 40

Hours reading: 16 hours, 15 minutes
Hours blogging: 1 hour
Pages read: 1385

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Update the first - or, why are their no pictures?

This is just a short entry.  Maybe?

I've read three books since starting the challenge late, late last night.

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
A couple months ago, I had joked that I needed some new "mix tapes" because mine all dated to the early 2000s.  And by mix tapes, I really meant cds.  However, this book actually does mean cassette tapes when talking about mix tapes.  For some reason, I found this bit of early 90s pop culture fun to remember.  Although, I never had a boyfriend to make me a mix tape- my brother did a few for me, though.  Ahhh.  So, this book is on the local school's 11th & 12th grade summer reading lists.  And now I need to watch the movie (which I also have checked out from the library).

Pages: 213

The Elite by Kiera Cass

I must admit I went into this book a bit wary, just because I read too many 1 star reviews of the book on Amazon (bad habit of mine to hit the low reviews first before going to the higher ones).  And, I do see their point about the messiness of the love affair.  I mean, can you ever really trust a man who would play around with other women?  But, can Maxon actually trust America because she is doing the exact same thing with Aspen.  I mean, people really shouldn't be calling out Maxon when America is just as guilty.  The problem with this book really is that there were quite a few unresolved plot lines at the end of the book.  The Italian issue is a big one for me.  I mean, where did she store that piece of paper.  Also, how could the rebels completely sack her room and not find the diary?  Especially when they were looking for books.  Or maybe only one group is looking for books.  Hmm.  I did like the thought that love was beautiful fear.  I get that.  Still a very quick, fun read.

Pages: 323

Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge

I admit I blindly picked this book up at a used book store because a)I have a fondness for children books of a certain era and b) the title reminded me of Linnet by Sally Watson.  This wasn't quite the same thing as her historical books, but still quite a fun adventure in itself.  You have four near orphans (their mother is dead and their father is off with the army in India) who are living with their "mean" grandmother.  After being locked up in closets one too many times, they escape and Robert (the older brother at 10) makes the decision that they should flee.  So they do, and somehow end up at the house of their eldest uncle, a recluse bachelor/former schoolmaster/current vicar.  And soon they are in between a generation old battle between good and evil.  They are, quite fortunately, on the side of good.  It's a fun little adventure with elements of the mystical and a gem of a novel.  I'm glad I found it.

Pages: 290

Hours reading: 8
Hours blogging: 30 minutes
Pages read: 826

And, I have just started an actual Sally Watson book, Highland Rebel.  I'll see how far I can get before I need to go get ready for my dance recital.  In like 30 minutes.  Ah well!

Friday, June 7, 2013

#48HBC - Starting line.

I almost didn't do it this year.  Almost.  Once again I have my dance recital and I hate giving it less than 100 % (a.k.a. all 48 hours).  But, then I looked at my TBR stack and it is high.  Very high.  So, perhaps this will motivate me to just chillax tomorrow and read before having to go dance my little heart out. 

It's 11:30 P.M.  I just got home from my dress rehearsal.  If this isn't a good time to start, I don't know when is.  Here goes nothing....

Starting with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, because I have never read it. Shocking!